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Supply, Patient Tracking Pays Off Big for Healthcare System

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, February 8, 2013

To minimize the disruption associated with the move to the new hospital, executive leadership rolled out the new technology, which uses RFID tags to track equipment, patients, and employees, at the existing hospital prior to the move.

"We wanted to work through and optimize workflow so when we moved, they would be developed already," says Graf.

Now, any caregiver can go to any computer and identify where a piece of equipment is, which eliminated hoarding, and allowed Virtua to right-size its inventory. The new, 1 million-square-foot Voorhees hospital is three times the physical size of the building it replaced.

"Employees realized they don't have to walk so far to get things done," says Graf. "When you have that high-level caregiver, such as a nurse, you want them focused on the patient and not looking for equipment and so do they. This is maximizing time to spend with the patient which improves outcomes."

Three of the four hospitals at Virtua now use the system, and by the end of the year, all will be using the RTLS, or real-time location system.

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