By Brian Small, SIGNET Senior Solutions Architect and Healthcare Communications Technology expert

Real Time Location System (RTLS) is a technology solution typically used to automatically identify or track assets in a given area in real time. However, nurse call automation is a more recent RTLS functionality being utilized in the healthcare industry to address nurse call response challenges.

Typical nurse call communication process:

When a patient needs assistance, non-RTLS automated nurse call communication processes involve:

  • patient presses a button to call their nurse
  • a dome light in the hallway becomes illuminated and
  • messages to the nurse’s station (and often the nurse’s mobile phone) are triggered

To answer the call and document the nurse’s response time, the nurse presses the cancellation button in the patient room, which is often located near the head of the hospital bed. However, reaching the button can be very challenging as the nurse may have to reach over the patient and around medical equipment, bedside trays, etc., just to clear the call.

RTLS-automated nurse call communication process:

With the RTLS application for nurse call automation, once the (badge-wearing) clinician enters a patient room, the active call is automatically cancelled and the dome light is illuminated appropriately to signify the clinician’s presence in the room.

To help with potential liability and billing issues, this application documents exactly how long a staff member is in a patient room. When caregivers do not need to stop what they’re doing to input data into their workflow application, the process is streamlined.

Also, the automated nurse call system provides the precise locations of caregivers so staff can contact the closest backup if the assigned caregiver is unable to respond. Ultimately, this use of RTLS technology enables patients to receive faster response times and improved overall care.

Questions? Contact Senior Solutions Architect Bryan Small.

*Some content from this article is courtesy of CenTrak