Ten critical elements for success

There are many sound reasons to implement a Real-Time Location System (RLTS) within a healthcare setting. RLTS can help healthcare administrators better track assets, patients, and staff for more effective workflow outcomes. However, the adoption of new technology is never without resistance, and any implementation must be coupled with a comprehensive plan that provides transparency.

Here are ten elements to consider when deploying your RTLS solution:

Stakeholder management

A successful RTLS implementation depends on the buy-in and support of key stakeholders. Widespread adoption will be far more difficult without the support of senior executives and department managers. This may take some time to achieve, but only with senior level enthusiasm will frontline staff be open to the technology.

To help convince department managers, RTLS benefits will need to be demonstrated.

  • Demonstrate financial gains and cost-cutting implications via projections.
  • Highlight the ease of rollout. The introduction of an RTLS will not impede hospital productivity or patient care.
  • Cite case studies that show the success of other hospitals using similar technology.

Set clear expectations

By outlining goals that you aim to achieve through an RTLS before adoption, the expectations can be managed throughout the process. These goals will also help in the selection of the right RTLS for your facility. Common goals include:

  • More efficient asset use.
  • Reduced downtime replacing and repairing damaged or stolen medical devices.
  • Better control potentially costly equipment rentals.

Compile inventory of your software systems

Many existing technology platforms will need to be integrated with an RTLS. This process provides an ideal opportunity to take stock of platforms that are currently being employed across the various hospital departments. Following this process of investigation, the RTLS implementation will proceed far more smoothly.

Establish baseline measurements

By measuring the expected impact an RTLS will have we can more readily justify its future usage. With hard baseline figures at your disposal, the case for adopting new tech solutions becomes logical and inevitable. The figures should include any expenditure relating to equipment rental, loss, repair, and the time spent by staff searching for medical devices.

Ensure location accuracy

Different RTLS solutions deliver varying degrees of precision when it comes to locating medical devices. Some will just record the hospital unit, while others will be able to track a device to an exact room and space. Before deciding on an RTLS solution, decide what level of location accuracy will be required to meet your goals and targets.

Prioritise speed

Optimally, the RTLS solution you adopt will be able to differentiate between devices, staff, and patients immediately. Any delays with this process will diminish accuracy and impede real-time data updates. With a speedy system in pace, cost-savings and other benefits can be readily realised and create the workflow improvements expected by hospital staff.

Select the right device tags

Not all RTLS tags are created equal, and attention should be paid to the quality of materials used and the battery life. Infrared tags are popular with many hospitals due to their ease of use, but your selection should reflect the value of the assets being tracked. More expensive tags make sense when tracking expensive and critical equipment, but not for items like beds and chairs. Cheaper tags are also more likely to produce false positives, which can delay operations and create inefficiencies.

Plan for future growth

Scalability is a key factor to consider when launching your RTLS. Any expansion plans should be factored into the decision-making process. Selecting a system that can grow in unison with your medical facility will help future-proof your decision and ensure its longevity.

Invest in staff training

Transparent communication with frontline staff is essential to a successful RTLS roll-out. Employees will need to understand how the system will work, how it will impact their duties and the features that will make their jobs easier. They need to be consulted throughout and afforded the opportunity to voice any questions and concerns that may arise.

Your roll-out should be accompanied by a comprehensive training program that includes initial education, multi-step tuition, and refresher courses. FAQ sheets should be made readily available well before roll-out to ensure that questions and concerns can be addressed in advance.

Regular review progress

Successful RTLS adoption is an ongoing process. Progress should be reviewed regularly basis. Regular reviews can help identify areas of potential improvement and any friction points. These reviews should include feedback from frontline staff, administrators, and management. Quantifying results such as cost-savings from better device management can ensure continuing enthusiasm for RTLS usage.


RTLS adoption should proceed at a carefully controlled pace. The efficiency benefits are such that the roles of all hospital staff should be positively impacted. Frontline staff will spend less time searching for medical devices. Equipment will be maintained in better working order thus reducing time and resource spent on replacement and repairs. Cost-savings will help alleviate budgetary pressures.

Ready to take the next step?

The decision to implement RTLS should be carefully considered and only entrusted to a proven and trusted technology provider. At Connected Health our experts can assist your RTLS journey to ensure it proves a resounding success and delivers on the promise of this simple yet revolutionary technology solution. Contact us for a demo or proof of concept.