When the New Aarhus University Hospital is completed in 2019, it will be the largest hospital in Northern Europe, spanning ap- prox. 500,000 m2 and employing around 10,000 people. To achieve the productivity targets set for a hospital of this size, a Real Time Location System (RTLS) is necessary to support the logistics processes.
Optimal coordination and utilization of resources require careful planning. However, the constantly changing activities in the hospital make this sort of planning difficult. To overcome this challenge, a full real-time overview of the location of colleagues, patients, and equipment in the hospital enables the hospital personnel to locate their colleagues and needed equipment.
At the New Aarhus University Hospital, a fine-meshed IT system will enable real-time localization of people and equipment right down to room level. This visionary system is unique and has a standardized RTLS infrastructure supplied by Lyngsoe Systems and apps supplied by Systematic enabling in-app search for equipment, bed management, trolley management, and transport logistics optimization between the region’s hospital units.
”The Hospital Logistics solution enables us to optimize coordination and supply within the 500.000 m2 of the new hospital.”
“The Hospital Logistics solution enables us to optimize coordination and supply within the 500.000 m2 of the new hospital. The just-in-time coordination is key for us in order to meet the efficiency objectives, which must be fulfilled by the new hospital.” - Gert Sørensen, former CEO of Aarhus University Hospital.
The localization of equipment and beds is possible because everything is equipped with different intelligent tags such as paper thin radio frequency identification (RFID) labels, and plastic embedded tags. The advantage of using RFID tags is that it is a lowcost solution for tagging equipment, which does not require batteries. Other tags with batteries are used for bed status management. Additional functions can be connected to the system, e.g. Wi-Fi technology for alerts or temperature monitoring.
: A national reference architecture
A Danish national reference architecture has been established to simplify the integration between the RTLS system and applications in order to communicate and facilitate access to data. The reference architecture has the objective to be a common framework for localization and automatic identification. It is based on international standards (GS1) and ensures a loose coupling between applications and the underlying technology and infrastructure for localization and equipment identification.
The systems are thereby strengthened to ensure that they are able to handle future business demands and outside influences despite changes in the underlying technologies.