Location tools find a new use within patient care, management processes

Healthcare providers increasingly are tapping real-time location tools, traditionally used to track and monitor inventory, to foster communication and help patients' family members stay updated on medical care.

One example is a mobile app in use at the Northwest Michigan Surgery Center, called iCare Patient Tracker, which keeps loved ones updated on surgical procedures, according to an mHealth Intelligence article. The system replaced a time-consuming manual board process based in the center's lobby.

"Patients' family members and significant others would congregate in front of that board and watch the progress ... or they would ask the front desk staff multiple times," CEO JoAnn Vande Leest told mHealth IntelligenceArticle