St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center improves safety and regulatory compliance with Wi-Fi temperature monitoring solution from NEC and AeroScout

Irving 14 January 2009St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center has deployed a wireless temperature monitoring solution to help staff monitor critical refrigerated health care assets. St. Joseph's leveraged NEC's communications integration expertise and AeroScout's Healthcare Solutions to help maintain regulatory compliance, increase staff efficiency and improve safety.

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Health care regulatory organisations, such as The Joint Commission, set stringent standards for frequent temperature monitoring of refrigerated materials in hospitals. For nursing, laboratory and pharmacy staff, maintaining these standards has traditionally been a manual process that consumes caregivers' valuable time on a daily basis.

By deploying NEC's and AeroScout's solutions, St. Joseph's health care workers are spared the manual tasks of monitoring and logging refrigerator temperature data several times a day for every refrigeration unit. This system helps ensure safe temperature ranges and compliance with requirements of The Joint Commission and other regulatory bodies by generating reports on status, trends, alarms and corrective actions taken.

At St. Joseph's, AeroScout Wi-Fi tags are placed inside refrigerators and freezers containing temperature-sensitive items, such as vaccines, pharmaceuticals, tissues, blood bags, organs and patient test results. The tags wirelessly send temperature readings over the hospital's Cisco Unified Wireless Network to AeroScout's MobileView software. If the temperature exceeds or goes below a set threshold, an alert is triggered and sent to hospital staff.

"We are very impressed with NEC's familiarity with our communications infrastructure and the health care industry. Their knowledge as a solutions integrator adds to their value by creating new technology possibilities and helping to ensure our facility runs more efficiently, while providing a measurable return on investment", stated Chuck Fennell, CIO, St. Joseph's. "Automatic monitoring and reporting on asset temperatures has helped us improve compliance and enhanced the ability of our nurses and clinical staff to focus on their most important task - providing the best patient care possible."

AeroScout's Healthcare Solutions, which are endorsed by the American Hospital Association (AHA), can be used for applications in addition to temperature monitoring, such as tracking and managing medical equipment. AeroScout's Asset Management solution uses the same MobileView software and Wi-Fi tags as the temperature monitoring application to track the location, status and condition of medical equipment. Over time, St. Joseph's may choose to track and monitor more than 5000 assets within the hospital's walls.

"Increasingly, hospitals like St. Joseph's are taking greater advantage of their standard Wi-Fi networks by implementing wireless temperature monitoring and asset management solutions", stated Gabi Daniely, VP of marketing and product strategy at AeroScout. "Leveraging hospitals' existing wireless infrastructures makes AeroScout's Healthcare Solutions cost-effective and easy to deploy."

"At the end of the day, NEC and AeroScout have helped the staff at St. Joseph's emphasize patient care, which is a cornerstone of NEC's UNIVERGE360 vision", stated Lou Van De Water, vice president of eastern regional sales, NEC Unified Solutions. "By combining our technical and vertical industry expertise, we continue to bring value to the people such as nurses, lab and pharmacy staff, who truly drive business communications."

St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center is a non-profit, 431-bed hospital and health care network providing services to patients from Onondaga and 15 surrounding counties. Through prevention programmes and the latest diagnostic treatment procedures, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center works with patients to achieve optimum long-term health. An eight-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph's is designated a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest honor bestowed on a hospital for nursing care.

AeroScout is a market expert in Unified Asset Visibility solutions. Customers improve operational efficiency using AeroScout products that leverage standard Wi-Fi networks to track and manage the location, condition and status of mobile assets and people. AeroScout's global customer base consists of leading hospital, manufacturing and logistics organisations, including many of the Fortune 500. The company originally invented the first Wi-Fi-based Active RFID tag, and today is widely recognized as leading the market in number of deployments and tags shipped. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, AeroScout has offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Australia. More company news is available in the VMW September 2008 article AeroScout's visibility solution optimizes work flow and improves patient care for Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center.

NEC Unified Solutions helps companies unify their business communications through innovative software, applications, development tools, and services. NEC offers a complete portfolio for unified communications, wireless, voice, data and managed services, as well as systems integration and application development. NEC Unified Solutions serves as the North American communications integration arm of global giant NEC Corporation for Fortune 1000, as well as small to mid-sized businesses in vertical markets such as hospitality, education, government, and health care. More company news can be found in the VMW August 2004 article NEC develops Grid middleware for commercial IT systems, also in the medical field.


Source: NEC

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