WiFi RTLS Platform for Hospitals Integrates Big Data Analytics

Stanley Healthcare's RTLS system will now incorporate Tableau visual analytics software to enable hospitals to track important items ranging from infusion pumps to wandering patients.

Stanley Healthcare, a developer of applications for tracking patient security, assets and environmental conditions in hospitals, plans to integrate Tableau Software's business intelligence software with its WiFi real-time location system (RTLS) software to enable medical facilities to gain better insight into their operations.

Stanley Healthcare, a division of Stanley Black & Decker, announced its collaboration with Tableau on Feb. 26.

Tableau's software incorporates dashboards and advanced visual analytics that when combined with Stanley Healthcare's WiFi RTLS will allow hospitals to track par levels of infusion pumps so that staff can be notified which ones need to be refilled. Infusion pumps send fluids, medications or nutrients into a patient's circulatory system—often intravenously. Hospitals will also be able to track the temperature levels of refrigerators in medical facilities in real time.

Staff will be able to drill down into large data sets, extract value from location, status and condition data and make better decisions on how to maintain medical equipment, Baruch Yoeli, vice president of engineering at Stanley Healthcare, said in a statement.

"Health care RTLS applications generate substantial amounts of data containing important intelligence that in the past has been difficult to attain," Dan Jewett, vice president of product management at Tableau Software, said in a statement.

Used by more than 17,000 health care organizations, Stanley Healthcare's RTLS platform can track hand hygiene, trigger alerts when patients fall and ensure the safety of patients in a hospital, particularly infants, Gabi Daniely, Stanley Healthcare's vice president of solutions, products and marketing, told eWEEK.

The company's MobileView software sends a hyperlink in an email alerting hospital staff of a change in the status of equipment or patients. MobileView also provides a dashboard to its other applications, which include Asset Tracking & Management, Environmental Monitoring, Patient Safety, Security & Protection and Patient Flow.

Health care facilities require reporting metrics to maintain efficiency, profitability and safety, Daniely suggested. "In order to do that, you extract the data from many different systems and applications, and you share it with the staff members and the management level in a more effective way," said Daniely.

"It's a classic big data challenge, and our software, combined with Stanley Healthcare's solutions, can help departments across health care organizations easily gain access to this intelligence and act upon it in a way that directly impacts their business," said Tableau's Jewett.

Visual analytics is an improvement over the traditional way of managing assets, which involves jotting notes down on paper on the location of equipment, Joel Cook, Stanley Healthcare's director of health care solutions, told eWEEK. "This gives you a much more dynamic real-time view anywhere you are in the enterprise."

Users can predict what the asset management needs might be for a building or type of equipment days or weeks ahead of time to improve efficiency of operations. When biomedical and clinical engineers analyze the data, they would be able to determine when to perform corrective maintenance on infusion pumps and ventilators, said Cook.

Stanley Healthcare and Tableau will demonstrate the combined platform at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's HIMSS13 conference in New Orleans March 3-7.