COVID-19 Solutions for Healthcare

Location services for contact tracing & capacity management –
be prepared for patient surge and increased infection risks

With the recent global outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), maintaining infection prevention/control methods in healthcare facilities is vital. Enterprise Locating and Sensing services can enable healthcare providers to more efficiently follow CDC recommendations released for operations during this pandemic.

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Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing is a contact history log, based on location, to accurately track interactions with other people and facility equipment. It also allows for faster investigation and reporting of the potential risk when an infected individual enters a medical center, adding an extra layer of defense against the spread of disease.

CenTrak provides accurate records of location data for staff, patients, visitors, and assets as well as information regarding interactions among them. Location data includes who made contact and the length of time spent in the respected area. This is important for facilities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 because it will quickly identify only those affected, saving time and resources.

Patient Capacity Management & ED Workflow

COVID-19 is creating an exponential increase in demand for healthcare resources. Through the use of location data, health facilities can discover ways to eliminate wasted steps and create a more streamlined workflow, particularly in the Emergency Department. Enterprise Location Services, combined with command center and capacity management solutions, help to optimize staff resources as well as critical medical equipment, and automate patient room and staff assignments to improve patient throughput, reduce wait times and minimize overcrowding throughout the hospital. The system also communicates bed status automatically, allowing EVS to increase room turnover capabilities and allow another patient to be treated swiftly.

Asset Tracking/Management

Without adequate asset visibility, turnover and delivery delays of equipment often occurs in healthcare facilities. This can lead to hoarding of equipment by staff and non-compliant sterilization practices. With COVID-19 spreading rapidly through surface exposure and contaminated objects, improved asset tracking and management is becoming increasingly important.

During this pandemic, the ability to locate and manage the use of ventilators and other critical devices could mean the difference between life and death. This technology also allows healthcare facilities to track equipment-to-patient interactions, as well as identify and distinguish which assets are clean and which are soiled, providing real-time alerts if protocols before patient use are not properly followed.

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Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring and Reminders

The CDC states proper hand hygiene is one of the most effective practices of any infection prevention strategy. With location monitoring solutions, healthcare organizations can automate the documentation of hand hygiene compliance and noncompliance events, as well as provide staff with real-time hand-washing reminders. Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring solutions help to minimize the risk of COVID-19 being spread from patient to staff or vice versa.

Hand hygiene sensors are easily installed in battery-powered dispensers of several manufactures or mounted to manual dispensers, canisters, pumps or sinks. By installing these sensors, staff badges communicate with the monitoring system. This same system can also be leveraged for staff duress and contact tracing of staff with infected individuals based on room assignments.

Environmental Monitoring – Differential Air Pressure and Vaccine Storage

Patients with COVID-19 need to be placed in a negative pressure room to prevent respiratory droplets from entering the hospital air supply effecting hospital staff, patients and visitors. Real-time alerts are sent when air pressure measurements are sensed above or below the set parameters. Maintaining proper temperature conditions is also essential to ensure the safe keeping of vaccines or experimental treatments available. Automated environmental monitoring allows staff to take immediate action when storage conditions fall outside of safe temperatures. Additionally, recording and tracking data remotely eliminates the need for manual processes, enabling greater staff efficiency.

Visitor Management

As a result of COVID-19, some facilities are mandated by local governments to conduct visitor temperature checks at regular intervals while also limiting visitor access throughout the facility. With CenTrak’s location services, visitors can be easily located and real-time reminders can be sent to staff, informing them of missed temperature readings with color indicators and/or email alerts. Should a visitor move around the facility, their location is automatically updated, allowing staff to quickly find the individual for their next reading and, if necessary, intervene to redirect them back to their approved location. If a patient or a visitor tests positive, movement history and interaction reports can be easily viewed by staff and the affected individuals can be notified.

Staff Duress Solutions – Protect Critical Personnel

Healthcare workers are doing their best to manage increased demands with limited resources. During this time of increased stress and uncertainty, tensions and frustrations can run high. Just as patient safety is a top priority, the safety of clinical staff and those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are also at the forefront of hospitals’ concerns. CenTrak’s Staff Duress and Panic Alerting solution enables immediate response times with location details during emergencies – providing staff members with peace of mind knowing that they are always protected. In the event a staff member needs assistance or is faced with a threatening situation, the individual can discreetly summon help via simple button-press, pull-cord, pendant pull or fall detection. The solution also integrates with traditional security systems, video management systems, access control, and mass notification systems.

Additional Resources

Slate: Your Boss Wants to Know Whether You Washed Your Hands

In order to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, experts say we need some form of contact tracing: a way of tracking who has the disease, where they went before diagnosis, and with whom they may have come into contact. To that end, a variety of parties are developing systems that use Bluetooth and GPS data to monitor the movements of the broader population.

On-Demand: Virtual Event Contact Tracing and Capacity Management

In this webinar, Director of Patient Experience Christopher Thompson, MSN, RN, will explain the benefits that location services can provide during health emergencies. Topics include infection prevention using patient, staff and equipment reports, as well as capacity management workflows used to prepare for patient surges at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthcare Facilities Today: Technology Applications For Infection Control

Locating and sensing services enables real-time tracking of medical equipment, staff and patients. The improved visibility provides a way for healthcare facilities to prevent the spread of infection, increase patient safety and receive non-compliance events. Facilities can leverage tools for capacity management, hand hygiene compliance, and contact tracing, among others.

On-Demand: Virtual Event Infection Control Solutions

On March 11, CenTrak’s solution experts discussed how healthcare facilities can reduce the spread of infection through IoT technology. Review of the following use cases were included: hand hygiene compliance monitoring, contact tracing between patients, visitors, staff and equipment, differential air pressure monitoring, and asset tracking/management.

Inverse: This Tech Could Prevent COVID-19 Hospital Overcrowding

Its become clear over the past few weeks that hospitals around the world are not prepared to handle the brunt of a global pandemic. With limited space, staff and supplies, hospitals are at the brink of being overcrowded and unable to offer life-saving medical care to those who need it. Technology can offer the organizational skills that make the difference between life and death.

Healthcare Business and Technology: Combating COVID-19 with Location Technology

Location services technology can provide real-time analysis on nearly every level of a facility, from assets to patients to environmental conditions, and share that data with other systems, including CMMS and EHR. Having a cohesive infection control solution in place can best equip a facility facing emergency and even help  mitigate the opportunity for an emergency to arise.