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UPMC Implements Wi-Fi Based RFID for Temperature Monitoring

May 31, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has implemented a Wi-Fi based radio frequency identification (RFID) solution from real-time location system (RTLS) industry vendor AeroScout to automate temperature monitoring at its St. Margaret Hospital. It’s also implementing wireless temperature monitoring, as well as asset tracking and management solution across most of its hospitals. The RFID solutions are part of UPMC's strategy of using smart technology to advance quality patient care and staff efficiency.

UPMC decided to use a Wi-Fi-based solution to leverage the investment in its Wi-Fi network and the related expertise it had developed. AeroScout’s solution, according to UPMC, can use low frequency and ultrasound for additional use cases such as par level management, and offers integration capabilities to allow other UPMC software providers to utilize location and condition information such as temperature readings, for specific clinical and operational applications.

The solution aims to enable UPMC staff to track the location of critical medical equipment throughout its facilities, and look to ensure that the equipment is at the right place at the right time while eliminating the need to manually search for items. UPMC will use the temperature monitoring solution to automatically and wirelessly monitor the temperature of refrigerators and freezers, helping prevent spoilage of medicines, vaccines and food.

"After our extensive testing and due diligence, it was clear to us that Wi-Fi-based healthcare visibility solutions were not only the best model for our health system, but also the standard that would prevail industry-wide because of the important advantages they offer over proprietary systems," James Venturella, CIO, physician and hospital services at UPMC, said in a statement. "By using our existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, the AeroScout solutions are easier to deploy, allowing us to see the associated productivity and patient care benefits more quickly."

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