VA to deploy RTLS to 152 medical centers nationwide

The Department of Veterans Affairs will deploy real-time locating system technology at 152 of its medical centers in the 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks throughout the U.S. with a goal of improving operational efficiency, according to a recent announcement by Intelligent InSites, a company subcontracted to provide the software.

The VA's primary contract is with HP for five years and $543 million. Initially, that contract was awarded last June, before IBM contested the ruling. The VA re-awarded the contract to HP last month after a reevaluation of the deal at the request of the Government Accountability Office in October, according to RFID Journal.

Seven consolidated medical outpatient pharmacies also will be equipped with the technology, according to the announcement.

Intelligent InSites will be tasked with tagging medical equipment, surgical instruments and supplies; the tags will automatically collect data that will enable VA officials to view analytics regarding the management of assets, cardiac catheterization lab supplies, sterile processing workflow and automated temperature monitoring. The VA eventually plans to expand that monitoring to help manage patient wandering and hand hygiene, as well as emergency department and operating room workflow.

According to a KLAS report from January 2012, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of hospitals are using a real-time location system (RTLS). Moreover, 95 percent of the 150 facilities that responded to the survey--which ranged from very small to very large hospitals--said that their use of RTLS resulted in operational efficiency gains.

The VA began the process of looking for a vendor to deploy its real-time location system in December 2011, according to FierceGovernmentIT.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the RFID Journal article

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