Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

New York cancer hospital uses RTLS to monitor patients

Steve Rogerson
April 4, 2016
Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Josie Robertson Surgery Center (JRSC) in New York is using a real-time location system (RTLS) to keep track of patients. The technology comes from Michigan-based Versus Technology.
Memorial Sloan Kettering, a specialist in the treatment of cancer, opened JRSC in January. It is the first-of-its-kind 16-floor freestanding short-stay surgical facility for cancer patients. It’s also the first facility to use RTLS in several innovative ways to support patient outcomes.
In cooperation with Ronco Specialized Systems, Versus is helping JRSC manage a busy census of 40 to 50 patient cases per day. The company’s Advantages OR closely monitors patient flow through 12 operating rooms and over 40 perioperative beds. The system also integrates 30 points of data from six ancillary systems, including Epic and Allscripts.
The 39 Glance-and-Go electronic whiteboards throughout the facility automatically display past, present and future surgery schedules to improve visibility to all staff. They communicate a patient’s wait or alone time to enhance the patient experience. They also monitor OR and bed availability to assist with dynamic room assignment.
Alerts are delivered when rooms are ready for turnover, improving use of valuable space. And they display name and role as staff members enter or exit a room to put patients at ease.
Bi-directional integration to Epic OpTime automates documentation and reduces data entry. Versus developed the bi-directional RTLS integration to feed automatically case start and stop times to the EMR. This frees staff from manual data entry and increases the accuracy and reliability of EMR data.
In cooperation with JRSC, Versus developed a post-op summary view that details patient progress on the clinical care pathway. The view displays data from Versus, Epic and Allscripts to provide visual alerts regarding the care milestones each post-operative patient must meet before discharge.
For example, a nurse or provider can tell at a glance if the patient’s goals for well-being, activity and so on are being met and prioritise care appropriately. When a patient has met all their goals, the system indicates that the patient is ready for discharge, so preparations can be made quickly.
As part of the care pathway, patients are required to walk after surgery. Using location data from the RTLS, Versus provides JRSC with an ambulation estimation of how far the patient has walked, helping ensure each patient meets his or her goal.
“What Josie Robertson is doing with Versus is truly innovative,” said Tina Soyring, Versus clinical consultant, who worked on the JRSC implementation. “A nurse or provider can glance at one screen and understand immediately where patients are on their clinical care pathway. This is an amazing patient-centric initiative that helps them recover from surgery as soon as possible.”