Health Team

'Electronic eye' saves hospital time, money

Posted January 12, 2011 2:42 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2011 6:56 p.m. EST

In virtually every room and hallway at WakeMed in Cary, there's an electronic eye.

Stephen Jackson envisioned a way for hospital staff to spend less time searching for equipment.

"If a health practitioner, nurse or so forth isn't spending time hunting equipment down, that's time spent with patients," said Stephen Jackson, chief technology officer for Radar Find. 

The Radar Find system displays all of these healthcare tools on a computer map.

The "tags" on various things like mobile computers and infusion pumps send a signal to the nearest reader.

Justin Knott, a registered nurse at WakeMed Cary, remembers life before this system when he needed something like an EKG machine.

"And I would have to walk the entire hospital, this floor, ICU, 2 east, it could be anywhere in the hospital," Knott said.

Now it's just a matter of a few mouseclicks.

You can change the status of the equipment on the tag, with colors showing that it's available, in use or needs cleaning. Other tags and readers monitor the temperature inside refrigerators where medicine is stored.

"That used to be a manual process; we've automated that," Jackson said.

For Knott, the Radar Find system means less wasted time and more focus on patient care.

"Radar Find has been a huge timesaver. Not just for me, but for my staff as well," Knott said.

Saving time saves money, and in a hospital, it may even save lives.