1. Location Aware Technology Helps a Hospital’s Customers Navigate Indoors
1/27/2015 8:07:45 AM
Location Aware Technology Helps a Hospital’s Customers Navigate Indoors
App Developer Magazine

Location Aware Technology Helps a Hospital’s Customers Navigate Indoors

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stuart Parkerson Stuart Parkerson

Two of the biggest challenges for any business with large campuses are customer navigation and asset protection. Retailers, government agencies, college campuses – the list goes on.

It’s particular challenge for hospitals. Think about it - hospitals don’t have regularly visiting customers. And their primary customer – patients – may be there just for the day, having to navigate different departments for different tests. And for those patients admitted overnight, the number of hospital customers grows as family members and friends stop by to visit.

As for asset protection, it may even be more crucial for hospitals, as a single piece of equipment smaller than your laptop may be worth tens of thousands of dollars. 

The advent of recent advances in location aware technology (such as beacon technology), has opened up a new universe of possibilities - not just for patient wayfaring and asset management - but to improve staff efficiency, customer safety and much more. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Phunware has been one of the leaders in helping companies leverage location aware technology and has worked with a number of institutions to integrate solutions into day-to-day operations. This experience has allowed the company to build up a vast reservoir of knowledge on the implementation of this technology, much of which is available in case studies, white papers, and articles on its website.

A recent such article provides an overview on using location aware technology for hospitals titled: “Found: A Flexible Solution for Both Hospital Wayfinding and Asset Tracking.” It provides an overview of how hospitals can use location aware technology to both improve the patient experience and protect hospital assets. While these are not the only solutions Phunware can provide institutions, it is a popular use case that the company has worked with hospitals to implement.

As the article points out, one way for asset tracking is by having small, inexpensive beacons installed on (or stuck to) the equipment to be tracked, Beacons are also installed unobtrusively through the facility. These beacons can “talk” to each other, so that the system is aware of the location of every beacon enabled device. On the back end, software keeps track of all equipment in real-time and staff can access all asset location information via a mobile app or a companion desktop application.

And this type of advanced solution can not only protect assets from “disappearing” but can also improve equipment availability, maintenance, and utilization, and enhance compliance reporting processes.

On the patient front, a proprietary mobile app can work with a smartphone’s mapping software to lead patients on a direct path from their location to their chosen destination. Realtime, turn-by-turn navigation can guide people from home or office to the correct hospital parking lot, into the facility and straight through to their appointment location. 

Think of this, 30% of first-time visitors and 15% of repeat visitors report location-related confusion. Using location aware technology can help patients and visitors arrive at their appointments on time and with less stress, simultaneously increasing hospital traffic flow and reducing lag time between appointments.

As the article points out, many hospitals already have been using RFID systems to help with patient tracking, etc and there are many inherent advantages to using a new technology such as beacons. 

You can view the complete article on the Phunware website.

Phunware is also hosting a webinar covering how hospitals can implement a wayfinding and messaging solution, and how to benefit from it. It will be held on January 30 at 11:00 AM EST. You can register for the webinar here

Read more: http://www2.phunware.com/mobile-wayfinding-asset-t...

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