The Intelligent Hospital Pavilion (Booth # 8265 in Hall E) has evolved considerably since its first appearance at HIMSS four years ago.
Designed to showcase the unique data-streaming capabilities of RFID, RTLS, NFC and other wireless technologies, it has grown by leaps, and now demonstrates use cases in the ICU, ER, delivery rooms and cardio suite, as well as how it can impact pharmacies, the supply chain and beyond.
Beyond even the hospital walls, in fact. This year, the HIMSS14 pavilion includes the new Intelligent Medical Home, which shows how biometric and other data can move between the recuperating patient’s residence and the hospital from which he or she has been released.
Remote monitoring across the care continuum is becoming more and more common, says Paul Frisch, MD, chief of biomedical physics and engineering at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and president and CTO of the RFID in Healthcare Consortium.
“The problem was always the patient’s level of acuity,” said Frisch. “We were always concerned about whether or not we should release them too early to go home. Now the technology offers the ability to evaluate them from a physiological perspective, evaluate their medication and track motion within the house.”
One challenge, however, is that “hospitals are just coming to grips with how to manage that,” he said. “The technology is there, but on the hospital side we have to develop practices to review the data that’s coming in.”
Right now, “If you look at how many hospitals actually deploy RFID or RTLS solutions, the number is fairly small,” said Frisch. But as the patient safety and cost reduction advantages offered by such technology becomes apparent, that should change.
At the moment, many hospitals have full plates with meaningful use and ICD-10. But as those deadlines come and go, and resources are freed up, Frisch predicts that next-generation wireless deployments will grow. After all, the return on investment is potentially big, he says.
“The ROI is embedded in many applications in many departments; if you do just a single solution, for one thing, the ROI may not completely be there,” Frisch said. “You may have to look at the larger picture of what it will look like when you deploy the solution everywhere. Once you do that, you open up a whole new set of applications that provide you additional ROI.”