15 Mar 2022 13 min


Last update 16 JUN 2023

Tracking wheelchairs in hospitals

Navigine - Tracking wheelchairs in hospitals
15 Mar 2022 13 min


Last update 16 JUN 2023

Source - Depot Visual Std

Most hospitals are equipped with wheelchairs that simplify the patient care and the work of hospital staff. However, medical institutions have to monitor their location as a means to ensure constant availability and prevent theft. According to statistics, on average, about 25% of wheelchairs are lost or stolen annually in hospitals, and the staff wastes up to 20 minutes of their working time every day searching for a wheelchair.

To simplify equipment tracking and avoid excessive costs, Navigine developed special tools for wheelchair tracking in real-time. These tools can considerably save company resources and optimize working processes in medical institutions.

Benefits of tracking wheelchairs

The use of digital technologies for tracking medical equipment offers clinics many advantages. The implementation of positioning systems can increase the efficiency of staff performance, improve clients loyalty, as well as minimize the costs of lost assets.

Increasing staff performance

As a rule, processes in hospitals are based on prompt delivery of patients to doctors’ offices and exam rooms. The lack of wheelchairs not only leads to queues but also affects the work of the staff. Instead of treating patients, nurses have to waste time searching for available wheelchairs. In that case, precise positioning can significantly help staff to quickly find the nearest wheelchair to continue treatment.

Wheelchair Tracking BLE Kit

Try all location-powered capabilities with the Navigine Wheelchair Tracking BLE Kit

Wheelchair Tracking BLE Kit

Increasing patient and visitor loyalty

The wheelchair tracking system enhances the quality of patient care. Disabled people shall always have one nearby to move freely around the hospital. The accessibility of wheelchairs is an important factor that may impact the patient's loyalty.

Thanks to using this system, patients waste less time waiting for a chair, become more mobile while staying in the hospital, and can quickly leave the territory after being discharged. Quality care improves client’s satisfaction and, in case of new problems with health, encourages them to apply to this clinic.

Reducing costs on lost assets

Annually, clinics face huge expenses connected with lost wheelchairs. Chairs are sometimes taken away by people who can easily leave the territory with them. In some cases, the equipment can just be left in places where the staff can’t find them easily. On average, more than a quarter of wheelchairs are lost in hospitals annually. Asset tracking systems in medical institutions simplify accounting and saving money on purchasing new equipment. The system implementation can:

  • reduce the number of thefts by sending an alarm once a wheelchair leaves the hospital;
  • simplify inventory management, ensure timely notifications on reducing the number of wheelchairs in the department below the threshold;
  • help to avoid expenses due to inaccurate accounting of assets on sight.

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Technology for wheelchair tracking system realization

Bluetooth® LE is considered to be the most effective technology to accomplish wheelchair monitoring and tracking inside a hospital.

Bluetooth® LE

The Bluetooth® LE system is based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Wheelchairs are equipped with special tags that emit radio signals at the pre-set intervals transmitting information about the location. The impulses from the tags are received by the base stations placed inside the hospital. Then the information is sent to the server and after processing the dot appears in the tracking platform. In the system, the management or the hospital staff can detect the exact location of wheelchairs in real-time.

Any wheelchair tracking device can be defined as low-power and affordable:

1. Bluetooth® Low Energy tags can present themselves as various form factors and are usually represented by tags, badges and cards. As a wheelchair tracker, a tag like this is easily customizable and helps track the movement of an asset in real time. The location accuracy when using Bluetooth® LE tags is about 3 ft.

2. Bluetooth® Low Energy gateways are low power antennas used to connect various devices to Bluetooth® based equipment. They capture the signals that the wheelchair tracking device sends and forward them to the cloud for further processing. The gateway boasts a built-in battery with a service life of up to 60 months. The antenna is compatible with several beacons at once, doesn’t call for high implementation costs and provides highly accurate medical equipment tracking.

The platform is easy to deploy and can locate objects with up to 3-5 meters accuracy. It should be noted that the wheelchair tracking system can save history of the movements, as well as highlight various zones in the hospital, like patient rooms, emergency, surgery, clinic, etc.

Navigine offers state-of-the-art software to enable efficient equipment tracking in the hospital environment. That solution can also be completed with an indoor navigation system to not only locate the wheelchair, but finding the shortest route towards it.


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