Smart hospitals. Intelligent hospitals. Digital hospitals. Advanced hospitals. Future hospitals. The new trend of advanced digitalized hospitals has many different names. However, they all share a common goal of becoming more effective, provide better health care and utilize technologies in the best possible way to improve patients' lives.

With the aging infrastructure in some countries and increased demand for more patient beds in others, hospitals and governments have the possibility to think of how to optimize hospitals settings by integrating digital technologies into traditional hospital services to provide a health system for the future.

Hospitals around the world are under huge pressure today and deal with factors such as cost pressures while, at the same time, have to provide health care to an increasingly aging population. Hospitals are searching for ways to improve their productivity and efficiency, in order to reduce costs and improve margins. While hospitals are busy doing this, the patient is evolving to be a consumer, whose needs and preferences need to be addressed to achieve optimal customer satisfaction.

A connected solution with Matchmore
The future of health care delivery may look quite different than what hospitals offer today. Rapidly evolving technologies, along with demographic and economic changes, are expected to alter hospitals worldwide.

Matchmore's technology enables several digitalized solutions for hospitals. The solutions are possible thanks to advanced location-based technologies and smart devices such as beacons and smartphones. All devices are designed to be connected and integrated, thus providing a global view of the system, increasing efficiency and reducing time loss. However, in this blog post, only the functions listed below will be presented:

  • Asset tracking
  • Automated check-in
  • Location-aware access
  • Indoor navigation

ASSET TRACKING

Hospitals are complex infrastructures with a large number of equipment and material such as beds, cleaning material and devices for medical purposes. It's complicated to know exactly where are all the assets are placed. In addition to this, hospitals often purchase more material than needed to ensure availability in case of emergency.

Thanks to location-based technologies, it is possible to know the exact location of a specific part of the infrastructure. As for example, it would be possible to know where there are available and clean surgical tools in a fast and simple way. Asset tracking would also allow the hospital staff to attach information or status to different devices. A good example is a garbage bin that the cleaning staff can point to be full to be emptied.

Asset tracking possibilities at smart hospitals. 

Asset tracking for hospitals facilitates the administration as well as direct medical performances. It also helps to decrease maintenance and inventory costs, which is crucial to ensure the viability of the service.

AUTOMATED CHECK-IN

Visitors to the hospital will be able to check-in before arriving physically on site. When approaching the hospital area, they will have the possibility through a mobile application to provide their personal information and already get in the queuing system. The person or department responsible for the visit will be notified that a visitor with determined needs is approaching and will be able to prepare.

There are several benefits with an automated check-in. First of all, there is no need for a secretary who is responsible for checking in the visitors. Since the visitors' data is saved in the mobile app, all needed information will be automatically transferred to the hospital. Secondly, it reduces the waiting time for the patient while allowing the employees to prepare the visit, impacting positively the customer satisfaction and the quality of the care.

LOCATION AWARE ACCESS TO THE NEAREST DOCTOR

Real-time location-based technologies enable to know, in time and distance, where the nearest doctor is. Assume a patient at the hospital needs direct assistance of a doctor due to a heart attack or a stroke, thanks to Matchmore's technology, the smart device attached to the patient will create an alert and notify the closest doctor and indicate where he has to go.

Knowing the exact location of doctors could play an important role when it comes down to seconds of saving patients' lives. Not only could this be vital in critical situations, but knowing there is doctor nearby could also work as soothing for worried patients or visitors.

INDOOR NAVIGATION & OPTIMIZED PATIENT FLOW

As mentioned earlier, many hospitals are large and complex institutions. Visitors normally have to go from point A to point B within the hospital, this could meaning going from the doctor's office to the hospital pharmacy or another department. However, to find his way in hospitals can be difficult and stressful. But indoor navigation solves this issue.

Indoor navigation at smart hospitals. 

Benefits of indoor navigations are many. In addition to the obvious one - helping staff and visitors from A point A to point B in the most efficient way - it is possible to analyze traffic. Analyzing traffic will help to identify busy areas, as well as people, flow in general. Are people stopping by at certain areas? Are there any bottleneck points that can be detected? Does a certain location get more traffic than anticipated?

SUMMARY

As mentioned earlier, smart hospitals share a common goal of becoming more effective, provide better health care and utilize technologies in the best possible way to improve patients' lives. Thanks to Matchmore's location-based technology, it is all possible to provide excellent infrastructure solutions to hospitals.

Do you want to know more? Get in touch here, or contact Michel de Marsano at michel.demarsano@matchmore.com.

References:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180117005690/en/Future-Smart-Hospitals-Concept-Definition-Application-5

https://www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/understanding-smart-hospitals-and-why-most-arent-there-yet

https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/global-digital-hospital-of-the-future.html