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Thursday 27th October 2016

Carillion IT Services works in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde to deliver the first Scottish NHS hospital asset tracking solution

2nd May 2008

Carillion IT Services (formerly Alfred McAlpine – IT Services) is working in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to design and install a scaleable, secure Wireless Local Area Network (Wireless – LAN) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) portable asset tracking solution at The Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Paisley. This is the first project of its kind to be undertaken in a Scottish hospital. 

Trying to locate portable medical devices places a considerable burden on both clinical and technical staff. A potential solution to this significant problem, that is being tested and implemented, is the use of RFID technology to identify the location of the potentially life-saving devices, such as defibrillators, infusion pumps and blood pressure monitors.
The RFID wireless technology is now in place across seven wards within the RAH, including Accident & Emergency and Medical Sciences. Due to its initial success there are definite plans to extend the coverage of the wireless network across another seven wards of the hospital.
Small electronic tags are attached to the portable medical devices and these send signals to the wireless network. From the signals received the system is able to deduce the location of the tag and therefore the portable medical device. It is hoped that the system will significantly reduce the time staff take in locating portable medical devices. The hospital also aims to investigate the potential of using mobile wi-fi phones with the installed Wireless – LAN as a means of improving communication between in-patient services and Accident & Emergency.
Jason Britton, Clinical Scientist at the RAH, said “The technology that has been installed should improve efficiency at the hospital considerably due to reducing the amount of time healthcare professionals will spend trying to locate portable equipment as it is moved across different wards. This time can then be used more effectively in concentrating on patient care. Maintenance staff should also benefit from knowing exactly where equipment is when undertaking planned maintenance.? He continued, “The amount of money we have invested on installing this cutting-edge technology should be recouped through the substantial savings we will make in precious staff time and resources and ensuring that all the potential benefits of the wireless network are properly exploited.?

Noel McNulty, Managing Director of Carillion IT Services, commented “NHS Glasgow and Clyde are pioneering in their adoption of RFID technology and have realised the potential efficiency gains to be made. Ultimately the technology will assist the NHS with greater efficiency, provide staff with more time to care for patients and bring Glasgow’s hospitals bang up to date with 21st Century systems. We are delighted to be involved in such a ground-breaking project.?


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