Capita to provide technology to NHS that digitally maps life-saving equipment

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Capita is to provide technology to NHS South Tees Foundation Trust that enables life-saving hospital equipment – such as ventilators, ECG machines, and beds – to be mapped digitally.

The IoT (Internet of Things) technology enables the precise location of hospital equipment to be logged in one centralised datapoint, eliminating the need for fragmented electronic and paper records. It uses Aruba’s integrated Access Point BLE sensors in conjunction with the Aruba Meridian platform.

In busy hospitals, equipment can be moved to and from storage depending on demand. As well as assisting servicing engineers in locating equipment in sometimes unfamiliar, multi-storey hospitals, the technology enables authorised personnel to track if any equipment is missing, and if there is a shortage (or surplus) of items. Accordingly, the technology will be a valuable tool for any hospital looking to make its procurement processes more streamlined and efficient.

A typical, medium-sized hospital is likely to have tens of thousands of pieces of equipment. Any moveable item can be ‘mapped’ in the technology database, from defibrillators in accident and emergency wards to chairs in patient waiting areas. The location history of equipment is also tracked, a benefit for security and accountability and especially relevant for high-value items.

This ‘asset mapping’ technology expands upon the core Wi-Fi infrastructure and support services Capita currently provides for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mark Cook, executive officer for Technology Solutions at Capita, said: “This asset mapping technology will facilitate a joined-up system for tracking the exact whereabouts and total number of hospital equipment at any one time, promoting greater efficiencies and reducing the potential for confusion among personnel that may currently use non-mapped electronic or paper records. “IoT technology that makes the maintenance of essential hospital equipment easier will be welcomed not only by engineers and administrative personnel, but by the nurses and doctors that use the equipment on a day-to-day basis when caring for their patients.”

Marc Saaiman, deputy head of procurement at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Hospitals must respond quickly to the changing needs of their patients at any one time. The digital mapping of hospital equipment will facilitate smoother and more cost-efficient procurement of essential items, to the betterment of health professionals and patients alike. As well as cutting down on the risk of unnecessary equipment being ordered, this technology will enable personnel to identify immediately if any items are in short supply and need reordering.”

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