Tri-City Medical Center and Awarepoint Corporation announce medical centre-wide RFID asset tracking system

San Diego 28 October 2008Awarepoint Corporation has performed a medical centre-wide installation of its Real-time Location System (RTLS) at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, California. Following successful deployment in its surgical department, Tri-City Medical Center has now expanded the Zigbee-based Awarepoint RTLS to actively track nearly 1000 medical equipment assets throughout the 515.000 square foot campus.

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Tri-City Medical Center is wirelessly tracking a variety of high volume medical equipment including Alaris infusion and PCA modules, crash carts, defibrillators and InfoV.A.C. therapy systems. The Medical Center is also tracking limited, one-of-a-kind and high-value items such as an Argon Laser, speciality supply carts, microscopes, video towers and monitors.

"The catalyst to our relationship at Tri-City Medical Center was the Surgical Services department", stated Kenny Woods, Awarepoint's Senior Vice President of Sales. "The Awarepoint system is especially useful in the Surgical Services department where timely locating and managing of equipment is particularly crucial to both patient care and the hospital's bottom line."

Anytime technology can be used to ease the strain on hospital staff and improve patient care services, it is a welcomed addition. "With Awarepoint, locating and managing of tagged equipment is now as easy as a click of the mouse, which is invaluable when minutes matter", stated Mary Diamond, Tri-City Medical Center's Director of Surgical Services.

The Awarepoint RFID-RTLS system offers both real-time location of equipment with active alerting and reporting capabilities. For example, Tri-City Medical Center recently implemented an active alert to notify staff if an InfoV.A.C. unit approaches any exit. "We have nine InfoV.A.C. therapy units and know this equipment should never leave the acute care area. If one is heading toward an exit, we want to know immediately", continued Mary Diamond.

Having this immediate location insight creates a more efficient environment where lost, stolen or misplaced equipment is reduced, equipment utilization increases, and future purchases and rentals are vastly decreased. "In addition to more cost-effective inventory management benefits, with the Awarepoint system in place, staff can quickly and easily locate equipment in real time, which allows them to do what they do best - spend more quality care time with patients", continued Suellyn Ellerbe, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nurse Executive.

"As with other health care facilities, Tri-City Medical Center sought a RTLS solution that offered enterprise-wide coverage, room-level location accuracy and interfaces that were easy to use. We are proud to add Tri-City Medical Center to the growing family of hospitals that recognize that RTLS can impact positive clinical outcomes, efficient medical equipment utilization and oversight, and effective use of limited staff resources", stated Jason Howe, Awarepoint's Chief Executive Officer.

The Tri-City Hospital District was founded in 1957 by a mandate of the residents of North Coastal San Diego County seeking to establish a modern, full-service hospital to serve the needs of the area's growing population. Tri-City Medical Center is a full service acute-care Medical Center serving residents of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, Camp Pendleton, Bonsall, San Luis Rey and areas of Escondido and Fallbrook since 1961. Centres and service specialities include Breast Health, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes, Gynaecological Oncology, Mental Health Disorders, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Prostate Health, Radiology, Skin Cancer, Spine, Shoulder and Pelvis Disorders, and Women's Health. The medical centre has achieved three year Joint Commission Accreditation with Full Standards Compliance in 2006.

Awarepoint's Active RFID technologies and real-time location systems (RTLSs) include its real-time awareness platform, firmware, RFID tags, sensors, and bridges. Awarepoint's technologies collect raw sensor data and transform that data into high-value positioning information that can be used to add location awareness to a variety of health care, manufacturing, security and other applications. Requiring no hard wiring, Awarepoint's "plug and track" network is a fully managed service, including hardware, software, remote monitoring and 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 can be found in the VMW January 2008 article Awarepoint's RFID asset management system assists UCSD's Thornton Hospital during San Diego fire disaster.


Leslie Versweyveld

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