Technological hospitals: how and why healthcare organizations embrace indoor navigation technology
Healthcare is an industry where indoor positioning systems are in great demand, especially in the USA and Europe. Some hospitals and clinics comprise thousands of square meters, dozens of floors full of thousands of people, both personnel and patients. It is a real challenge for management and optimization. Indoor positioning has an opportunity to make life easier for both clients and management. Sophisticated navigation apps assist the former in wayfinding and help the latter in business optimization.
There are three most obvious challenges for indoor positioning technology in healthcare, such as equipment monitoring and control, security enhancement and reducing waiting time for patients. Estimates indicate that hospitals will purchase from 10% to 20% more equipment than required due to a lot of cases of misplacing and losing this high-cost equipment. In fact, the cost per bed in hospitals has risen on 90% in the past 15 years to $3,144.2, and one of the reasons is those costly assets being regularly misplaced or left in disuse.
Navigation within a hospital could be tiring and confusing both for staff and patients. Indoor positioning technology provides a person with an individual guide and identifies the most appropriate route. Moreover, such solution cuts waiting time, therefore, ensures a better experience and higher confidence in the healthcare provider.
The last but not least problem which indoor navigation system could solve is control of physical access to various wings or offices. Managers can grant or restrict access on an individual basis, adding information to an employee’s keys in a real-time.
Personalized hospital assistant
Advanced indoor navigation app and technology of BLE-beacon were installed in Westfriesgasthuis hospital (Netherlands). This easy-to-use application helps patients to find the most appropriate way, locate the specific entrance, office or facility object and connect a user to the nearest employee. As a result, this technological tool improved a common impression and offered a more efficient experience.
Westfriesgasthuis hospital is just one example of how a medical company could benefit from a cutting-edge solution. More and more healthcare organizations throughout Europe and the USA implement high-tech to enhance business efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.
It is always a big challenge to find a proper way inside a huge building, especially in a clinic or hospital with a lot of different wings, offices and restricted areas. Various emergencies, occurring in hospitals, often divert employees’ attention from the newcomers. Moreover, the majority of healthcare organizations face the problem of understaffing what contributes to patient's and visitor's stress even more.
A real-time navigation system is a solution. Due to turn-by-turn navigation at floor maps, instant positioning and personalized location-based notifications depending on the needs of a patient or a visitor such application serves as a smart online assistant. First of all, it significantly reduces time consumption for both sides (clients and staff), increases patients and visitors communication and engagement and improves patient safety and satisfaction
Hospitals must worry not only about their patients and staff but also about their assets, including medical equipment, expensive medications, etc. Every clinic is a complicated system that needs to provide high-quality services and stay economically efficient simultaneously. For each hospital bed in the U.S., there is approximately $4,000 worth of equipment lost or stolen each year. Some hospitals such as Florida Hospital Orlando have nearly 2,000 beds.
A real-time asset controlling system is an appropriate technology for healthcare organizations. An advanced solution created by Navigine provides interactive maps of hospitals with rooms and amenities, tracks assets like wheelchairs, beds, or patient care equipment and provides real-time turn-by-turn navigation at floor maps like in Google maps. All employees can find the necessary equipment in a mobile app and find the optimal route to it. The indoor-navigation solution ensures real-time and historical equipment information, details how the assets are being used and, in some scenarios, by whom. This could also reduce time consumption for staff, improve scheduling and optimize internal processes, including cleaning and maintenance, based on aggregated motion analytics.
Healthcare organizations are constantly embracing new technologies, which help them to face specific challenges, increase the quality of their services, improve customer experience and enhance business efficiency. And indoor navigation technology is one of those which would change the industry.