Denver Health, an academic Level 1 trauma center for the Rocky Mountain Region, recently decided to get a handle on missing and misplaced equipment. The 398-bed hospital contracted with Framingham, Mass.-based PanGo Networks to help solve the problem.
According to Jeff Pelot, Denver Health's chief technology officer, doctors and nurses are under such time pressure that they often keep clinical equipment, such as IV pumps, on their floor, rather than returning them to the hospital's central repository. Of course, such time-saving tactics lead to problems when one floor or another's stashing leads to a shortage in the main equipment depot. To compensate, he says, hospitals often wind up buying more equipment than they need — a poor solution to a serious problem.
Further, clinical equipment must regularly be certified by the hospital's biomedical technicians, who also don't have time to waste hunting down equipment around a large hospital center.
"PanGo, incorporated with the inherent functionality of Airspace, which Cisco recently bought, really worked well, because Airspace is designed from a security standpoint to track anything that is on the wireless network," Pelot says. "You incorporate that with some maps and some equipment and all of a sudden you have a marriage of technology that is really usable."
It became even more useful when PanGo was able to offer integration with Pittsburgh-based Four Rivers Software's iTMS work order application used by Denver Health's biomed team. Equipment is logged into the iTMS system with certification dates and the system will alert users through PanGo when it's time for an inspection and, within three feet, exactly where the particular piece of equipment is located.
To start, Denver Health will be tagging around 1,000 pieces of equipment. Pelot says he expects to be up and running on the system by mid to late summer. "It's just intuitive that this is going to save dollars for the hospital," he adds.