How to Succeed with Real-Time Location Systems

An Awarepoint white paper describes critical factors required to maximize your RFID system’s return on investment.

Real-time location systems (RTLSs) are an increasingly important strategic capability for a variety of business applications. RTLSs allow organizations to efficiently identify and track the location of supplies, personnel, equipment, and other items in real-time, as a cost-effective operational management tool.

With the success early adopters have had with RTLSs, the question is not whether to implement, but which technology is best suited for the many applications that can benefit from location awareness. An Awarepoint white paper, “Considering a Real-time Location System? First Consider the 5 Critical Success Factors,” can help maximize your return on investment and ensure long-term success of your RTLS investment.

“The implementation of RTLS technology should pay for itself as a result of shrinking the incidence of misplaced equipment, decreased rental costs, and increased utilization of equipment,” stated Jason Howe, CEO of Awarepoint Corp.

The five critical factors outlined in the white paper to obtain maximum benefit include:

  • Enterprise-wide coverage—because assets and people move throughout your entire enterprise, to achieve maximum benefit, your RTLS deployment must cover every square inch of your enterprise.
  • Location accuracy—to affect the highest impact for your strategic initiatives, room-level accuracy is a clear critical success factor.
  • Installation and maintenance—a minimally invasive solution that does not compromise your existing IT network, does not interrupt daily business operations, and can be installed in days or weeks, is vital. Maintenance impact for hospital staff should be considered as well. It shouldn’t take a team of IT professionals to keep the system running.
  • Interoperability—your RTLSs should be supported by standards-based technology and should offer an open application programming interface so that it’s capable of providing location and status data to both your end-users and to third-party applications.
  • Low risk—you should partner with a vendor vested in your success. Look for a flexible business model that doesn’t require a large capital purchase or long-term contractual commitment, and allows you to easily expand assets as needed.

Added Howe, “In hospitals particularly, RTLSs can play an important role in automation of common tasks—improving operational efficiency, increasing patient flow, and enhancing patient safety. Knowing the location, status, and movement of equipment and people can be used to improve hospital business processes and asset utilization, reduce capital expense and rental costs, and improve staff productivity.”

The full white paper “Considering a Real-time Location System? First Consider the 5 Critical Success Factors” can be downloaded free off the company’s Web site.

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