'Medical centers of future' include RTLS

By Erin McCann
10:48 AM

Group Health, the Seattle-based nonprofit health care system, has announced that their move to create medical centers of the future will now include leveraging real-time locating system (RTLS) sensor technology. 

Officials at the 625,000 member health care system say the medical centers will open starting December 2012. 

One of these centers, the Group Health Puyallup Medical Center, was designed based on direct feedback from members, clinicians and staff.  The center will allow easy access to services, better care, a low-stress environment and efficient use of resources, according to Group Health officials.

[See also: Tracking a bright future for RTLS.]

Patient-centric innovations include streamlining patient flow and eliminating waiting room time. Officials say patients will be able to check in and go straight to their care room. The technology will also speed access to lab results.

By leveraging the RTLS, provided by Fargo, N.D.-based Intelligent InSites, officials say Group Health can have the right room, the right staff and the right equipment ready for the patient which aims to reduce patient wait times and cycle times. 

With the RTLS business intelligence and reporting capabilities, Group Health officials hope to further optimize patient flow and improve asset management, as vast amounts of automatically collected data can now be analyzed through real-time dashboards and reports. This information will enable the center to continually monitor and optimize their processes.

[See also: 5 novel uses for RTLS technology.]

"We are proud to partner with the leading consumer-governed healthcare system in creating the ideal patient experience," said Doug Burgum, chairman of Intelligent InSites. "Group Health's pioneering approach to care delivery will surely become a model for using innovative solutions to achieve the maximum level of efficiency and patient satisfaction."