Awarepoint's RFID asset management system assists UCSD's Thornton Hospital during San Diego fire disaster

San Diego 12 December 2007During the 72 hours the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center system was under a Code Orange due to San Diego's recent fire disaster, Tom Hamelin, R.N., Director of Perioperative Services and his staff used the Awarepoint Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) asset management system to track the location and status of mobile medical equipment needed for patient care - particularly gurneys and wheelchairs. The Awarepoint solution, which is being utilized at UCSD's Thornton Hospital, provides the location and status of equipment in real-time, and using a web-based search engine called Searchpoint, pinpoints it on a map.


During the first 72 hours following the fires, the UCSD Medical Center's Regional Burn Center cared for over 50 patients injured in the fires, well over 350 inpatients a day in both their UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital, and kept clinics and emergency rooms open. Quickly and efficiently managing the mobile medical equipment needs of these patients during the crisis was part of the challenge for the Incident Command Center staff.

"From the Incident Command Center, I was able to direct staff to the exact location in the facility where the equipment could be found. In an emergency situation, staff simply doesn't have time to search for needed equipment. Gurneys and wheelchairs are in constant demand, and finding one when you need it can be critical to patient care", stated Tom Hamelin.

Jason Howe, Awarepoint's CEO added: "We are proud of our partnership with UCSD Medical Center, and the fact that Awarepoint helped them manage a large number of patients during an emergency effectively and efficiently."

UCSD operates San Diego's only academic medical centre system of hospitals, clinics and regional speciality centres. The two-hospital system includes UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest, licensed for 386 beds, and the 119-bed John M. and Sally B. Thornton Hospital, which opened in the summer of 1993, site of the Awarepoint project.

UCSD's Thornton Hospital is a general medical-surgical facility that offers general and speciality surgery, BMT, cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics, oncology, and pulmonary medicine in a comfortable, patient-centred environment. Speciality outpatient services are based at the adjacent Perlman Ambulatory Care Center, along with pharmacy and radiology services.

The Awarepoint Real-time Awareness Solution delivers health care providers reliable location, status and movement information to remotely monitor equipment and people. Using minimal hardware and no hard wiring, Awarepoint offers a non-disruptive installation - even in occupied patient rooms. Its award-winning, rapid impact implementation enables hospitals to map resources, monitor activity and measure performance to more effectively improve business processes that impact patient care and operational efficiencies.

Awarepoint is provided as a fully managed service, including all hardware, software, 24/7/365 remote system monitoring and full maintenance. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California and serves hospitals across the United States through a national sales and operations workforce. More company news is available in this VMW issue's article Awarepoint's RFID asset management system selected at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

Leslie Versweyveld

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