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How Beacon Technology Can be Used in Hospitals to Reduce Costs

Beacon Technology

According to a joint survey from the Healthcare Financial Management Association and Navigant, healthcare executives are predicting labor budget increases and continued shortages of physicians, nurses, and mental health providers. As such, reducing hospital operating expense will be a primary focus in 2019.  This news comes at a time when hospitals are already challenged by managing costs and expenses while reimbursement and admissions are tanking. Technology offers hospitals the opportunity to become more efficient with the use of Bluetooth beacons. Beacons provide an array of opportunities for healthcare professionals to streamline services while reducing overhead expenses.  Here are a few ways using beacon technology can help trim a hospital budget without sacrificing patient care:

Better Asset Tracking and Equipment Utilization

Hospital assets are costly. Each hospital bed includes expensive equipment, and nurses use valuable tools on a daily basis. Keeping track of this equipment, however, is a huge problem. Hospitals are big. Staff often work in several different areas and have different objectives. The result is precious and costly assets being regularly misplaced or left in disuse.  By implementing beacon technology, hospital staff will always know where the valuable assets are located. Even when a tool is misplaced, a beacon infrastructure can help find it. Beacon technology is a comprehensive method for tracking assets. For healthcare administrators, this could mean far less money spent on extra equipment. For patients, this means better and faster service. For healthcare providers, this means having the tools they need accessible at all times. 

Get Patients to Doctors, Faster

Doctors and nurses running from one patient to the next can waste an unnecessary amount of time; beacons can significantly expedite the process of meeting and helping patients. It may even lead to better healthcare security and data compliance practices. Furthermore, beacons can support staff through indoor navigation capabilities, guiding them through various wings and straight to a patient.

Automated Entry and Access

A significant aspect of hospital management is the security of hospital buildings and wings, not to mention the varying levels of access rights to each room. In restricted areas, medical facilities can utilize beacons to automate entry access instead of using ID badges that can easily be manipulated or keys that get lost. Managers can use beacon cards to provide individuals with particular rights for each location. They can also be used by hospitals to locate the nearest doctors in cases of emergencies easily. For patients and their visitors, the technology enables them to automate check-ins so they won’t need to stand in line.

Get Visitors to Patients more Efficiently

Sometimes visiting a hospital is a stressful time and visitors just want to get to their loved ones as fast as possible. Remember the colored lines on the floor directing you to where you need to go?  Well, technology replaces those lines and improves the visitors’ experience when they come to visit a sick loved one in the hospital. With the use of beacons, wearables, and proximity technology, visitors can find sick loved ones or a go see the new baby faster and with less frustration. Gone are the days of wandering around the vast hospital landscape hoping to get to the right floor, the right elevator, or the right room. 

Compliance Tracking and Recording

Hospitals are having a hard time keeping up with safe practices to ensure the security of information. Data compliance is another huge problem for the healthcare sector. However, beacons can be utilized to secure systems against improperly accessed data. By employing proximity-based restrictions on files, it can help secure data on all fronts.