University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada, has installed a real-time location system (RTLS) to reduce the transmission and spread of infections by tracking equipment, patients and employees.
UHN’s Toronto General Hospital has implemented the technology within three of its units to track behaviours that could lead to infections, without disturbing privacy of the workers, according to rfidjournal.com.
The solution, developed by Infonaut in collaboration with George Brown College, uses sonitor tags, wireless battery-powered tag readers (receivers) and gateways.
Hospital equipment has been fitted with Sonitor tags, volunteers wear ID badges and patients who have been admitted into ICU and have completed transplant surgery wear Sonitor wristbands.
The receivers are installed at the hospital’s sanitiser dispensers, while the remaining receivers are installed at patients’ beds, as well as in hallways and equipment rooms.
Each badge transmits an ultrasound signal, encoded with a identifier, which is picked up by one of the receivers within the area, and that tag’s ID number is forwarded by other receivers via 2.4 GHZ RF signal to a gateway, which has a wired connection to the server.
The software provides reports indicating when the individuals and assets have been in contact with each other and when a hygiene procedure has been missed.
That information is then provided to the hospital unit’s management, without naming individual staff members, but rather reporting the overall behaviour of a group within that unit.
Image: Toronto General Hospital is testing real-time location system to track the equipment, patients and staff. Photo: courtesy of Wladyslaw.