Hospital Information Systems


Bahrain’s King Hamad University Hospital installs RFID system to track staff, patients, hospital assets

With a capacity of 311 beds and 1731 employees, King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) was established as part of a strategy to develop a centre for organ transplant surgeries and trauma care in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

From the very outset, there was a desire to use not only state-of-the-art medical technology, but also the most sophisticated information systems to eliminate bureaucracy and support rapid, robust diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making.

This led to 18 months of intense effort to examine and re-engineer almost every system ahead of the hospital opening in 2012. The IT implementation at KHUH was validated when it was voted the unanimous winner of the ‘Healthcare Deployment of the Year award’ at Computer News Middle East’s awards on 14th Oct 2012. The judges recognized KHUH as the most technologically advanced hospital in the region.

A jewel in the crown of the KHUH project is a fully integrated asset management, biomedical engineering, real time location and passive RFID (radio-frequency identification) solution built around Infor Enterprise Asset Management (EAM). This unique combination of systems delivers an easy to use, integrated system to monitor and track staff, patients and hospital assets, analyse personnel data to continually improve work procedures and reduce waste and operational cost.

The solution combines the Infor EAM platform; Ekahau’s real time location system, Impinj, Active Identity passive RFID; Unitech medical PDAs and RFID tags from Omni-ID. Integrating all of these systems, Symphony from Azimuth, the Bahrain based systems integrator, developed with their offshore partner MCT India delivers a state of the art, fully integrated solution for the hospital.

Information is delivered via desktop and mobile applications that not only monitor the location of staff, equipment and patients, but also apply business rules for alerting staff in the event of equipment failure, staff or patient assistance requests, infant security and more.

Integration between asset management, resource management and clinical information systems provides a truly holistic view of the hospital. Adding real time to this equation presents a huge opportunity to truly understand day-to-day operations and effect clinical outcomes and patient experience in ways that could never be imagined in the past with paper driven processes. Facilities management and beyond – the operational perspective

At the core of this holistic operational view is Infor EAM. The application provides a full platform to manage day to day maintenance and housekeeping activities, spanning general and preventative maintenance, resource planning, contractor management and spares management.

The call centre function is used to address all faults, request or issues within the hospital. The bulletin board supports the call centre engineers to perform first line diagnostics and also provide information on specific equipment.

The system ensures that the hospital complies with all statutory requirements by scheduling and controlling maintenance, cleaning, replacement and inspection tasks required for medical equipment. Furthermore, the reports within Infor EAM help hospital managers analyse performance and develop continual improvement programs.

This continual improvement begins with active monitoring. By integrating Ekahau Wi-Fi tags, the Ekahau Real Time Location System Controller (ERC) and the Symphony user interface, the redesigned 802.11 Wi-Fi network is optimised to locate people and assets in real time and provides room level separation across the entire facility.

The primary purpose of this is to monitor the movement of controlled assets and pharmaceuticals, capturing their details and passing them to Symphony where business rules can be applied, generating alerts to relevant staff when these rules are broken, such as monitoring controlled drug cabinet keys to avoid them leaving the premises. The system now alerts staff, managers and security as the keys leave their designated area of the hospital to ensure that this simple mistake can be avoided.

Elsewhere, nurses no longer search for equipment room by room. Individual staff tags provide the ability for them to rapidly search for commonly needed items. Here the integration with Infor EAM means that that the ‘nearest’ item found is also the ‘nearest working’. Should a fault be found, nurses can simply press a button on the item of equipment and a work order is raised and passed directly to an available biomedical engineer.

From a management perspective, tedious and time consuming processes have been reduced or removed. For example, refrigerator temperature monitoring previously involved staff taking temperature readings frequently. This process has now been completely removed as the system automatically takes readings every 15 minutes from 50 refrigerators, alerting engineering and management personnel should the required operating limits be exceeded.

Equally, for biomedical engineers, paperdriven activities have been replaced by a tightly integrated solution that enables the online management of breakdown and preventive maintenance tasks. This is based on mobile enabled asset capture, work order management and inspections, but still provides the look and feel of original reports, albeit now system generated and on-demand.

The solution will also soon be tightly integrated with the hospital’s Building Management System, Wonderware, which will again utilise Infor EAM to automate the production of work orders for facilities management engineers. This will, in turn, assist the management in improving the reliability of all systems supporting the clinical staff in their primary role.

Going further than the cost of an asset – the financial perspective

By integrating into the ERP system within KHUH, Infor EAM provides management with a clear overview of maintenance costs and the effectiveness of activities undertaken. The application enables an understanding of overall efficiency and where savings can be made or augmentation required.

The finance department also benefits from an automated, auditable method of asset inventory management and improvements in asset security to help reduce both loss and over-provision.

Such extensive integration has enabled Infor EAM to go beyond being a platform for clinical staff to know what equipment is available for use and where it is, reducing the time spent looking for it in the first place. KHUH now has a single planning platform for equipment maintenance, cleaning and preparation that enables clinical management to plan capacity and patient intake, reducing unnecessary patient admission waiting times.

Alongside the single call centre function, a unique set of reports has been developed to assist the staff to analyse performance and implement continual improvement with regards to patient waiting times, room turn-around time, issue resolution and patient complaints.

“We now have a complete real time, operational understanding of the facility,” commented Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad AL-Khalifa, IT director, King Hamad University Hospital. “Infor EAM has delivered an ability to focus management attention on those areas that will keep KHUH at the very forefront of medicine in the Middle East.”

“We have delivered an holistic solution that remains focused on improving client care and delivering the very best clinical outcomes, despite taking in data from a wide range of sources. This will be the benchmark by which medical care is judged throughout the region and indeed, the world.”

Using RFID technology to log into X-ray systems

Many healthcare providers use badges with embedded radiofrequency identification (RFID) chips to monitor entry into restricted areas. Now those same badges can be used to automatically log authorized users onto X-ray imaging systems – which saves time for both technologists and patients.

RFID readers are built into some new generation imaging systems and healthcare providers can work with their suppliers to add external RFID readers to older CR and DR X-ray imaging systems. These RFID readers use wireless technology to transfer data from the badge to automatically log employees onto medical imaging systems – eliminating the need for technologists to remember multiple log-in numbers and/or passwords used by each imaging system.

“Extending the use of RFID technology to grant access to imaging systems is a huge advantage for healthcare facilities,” said Helen Titus, marketing director, X-ray Solutions, Carestream Health. “The next step is to combine RFID readers with fully featured administrative analysis and reporting software. This allows radiology managers to view technologists’ activities and have instant access to data about imaging exam volumes, repeat exam rates, repeat reasons and exposure settings.”

Boca Raton Regional Hospital (Boca Raton, Florida, US.) recently installed Carestream’s DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray systems that enable technologists to log in by passing their badges containing RFID tags in front of the system’s built-in radio-frequency reader.

“With RFID technology, our technologists are online instantly and can select a patient from the work list and begin imaging. This is much faster than the manual process of logging in with names and passwords – and it helps us meet HIPAA requirements for the privacy of patient records,” said Gail Mc- Namara, director of the hospital’s Imaging Services Department. “Now I have an accurate record of which technologist conducted each exam and what files each technologist viewed.”

 Date of upload: 20th May 2013


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