In healthcare, patient safety is paramount. However, this is often jeopardized by highly labor-intensive legacy systems. In many areas of a hospital or other healthcare facility, a significant number of manual checks must be carried out on a daily basis to ensure patient wellbeing. These include checking the temperature at which medicines are being stored, checking temperatures to mitigate any risk of Legionnaires’ disease or checking for leaks to avoid damp and airborne mould – to name just a few.
Undertaking such manual checks takes a significant amount of time – ironically reducing the amount of time available for direct patient care. When they are performed amid busy shifts, key details can be missed. Even when data is collected correctly, it can often be inadequate: a check of a medicine’s storage temperature every 24 hours would fail to promptly catch any compromising temperatures that occurred between those checks – for example on a very hot day, or if a fridge failed. This could lead to compromised medicine and threaten patient safety.
Solving this problem was previously too complicated — or too expensive — to undertake with technology. That is no longer the case.
Working in partnership with Infogrid, Disruptive Technologies’ (DT) sensors are solving such problems today. Built specifically around DT’s sensors, the Infogrid system is simple to use and very low cost. No technical expertise is required to operate or set up the system, meaning it can be up and running immediately — the perfect complement to DT’s microsensors. Retrofitting these sensors to existing assets takes seconds, meaning set-up for full buildings can occur very quickly. Now installed in over 100 NHS sites across multiple Trusts, the system is automating daily tasks such as medicine temperature checks, Legionnaires’ condition monitoring, fire doors being secure, comfort temperatures for patients and much more. This has resulted in an established ROI of less than three months, and significant improvements to patient care.
“Simplicity and low cost were key to solving this problem; the fact that both hardware and software required no technical expertise or training to get up and running meant frontline staff could interact with powerful data immediately. The cost is so low that the system generates and ROI in less than three months — and that’s just based on staff time saved. Avoided waste and additional energy efficiency are extra benefits that come as a free dividend. Ultimately, this results in a safer patient environment whilst reducing, rather than increasing, cost.” says William Cowell de Gruchy, CEO of Infogrid. “The wireless, 15-year battery life DT sensors are extremely small and require no setup or maintenance, matching the simplicity of the Infogrid system – resulting in powerful data and alerts that are up and running in minutes.”
Feedback from initial deployments has been very positive. As such, DT and Infogrid are in the process of actively expanding the system to new sites and use cases. One Estates manager commented:
“Our priority as a Trust is to provide a safe and effective care environment. The Infogrid system has already delivered significant benefit toward this goal across the Trust, particularly in Pharmacy medicine storage. However, we see opportunities for improved patient care and cost savings in many areas throughout the estate. These include monitoring for Legionnaires’ disease, patient well-being (including ambient temperature optimisation for better recovery, and bedside assistance), fire safety and much more beyond. What’s great about the system is that it can deliver these benefits while generating a very quick return on investment”.