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Big data: The next chapter for RTLS

by David Dennis, Contributing Reporter | February 01, 2017
Health IT
From the January 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


According to McKinsey’s "The age of analytics: Competing in a data-driven world" (December 2016), one of two major barriers to the use of big data in health care is that it still “need[s] to demonstrate clinical utility to gain acceptance.” The report notes that location-based services and retail have made the best use of data and analytics. These sectors have captured the most value from analytics initiatives. In contrast, the authors note, “manufacturing, the EU public sector, and health care [in the United States] have captured less than 30 percent of the potential value we highlighted five years ago.”

Because of the basic facts it establishes — namely, the location of people and things and the time spent there — RTLS data is one of the data streams most fundamental to changing this situation. Learning who performed different interventions, how long they took, where they occurred and with what equipment — combined with the relevant data about the intervention’s outcomes for patient health, safety and satisfaction — would help put to rest certain questions about effectiveness and undoubtedly uncover new areas and insights of clinical utility. Analytics insights can be as bold, but typically no bolder, than the people asking the questions. In this new world of potential, hospitals must identify where they are confounded by “black box” situations, and decide where they stand to make the greatest improvements. By combining the robust data like that of RTLS with a flexible analytics package, hospitals can draw out correlations and operational knowledge that canbe tested for validity and refined.

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John Masterson

Other RTLS options

February 02, 2017 10:13

Another interesting trend in RTLS in healthcare is the entrance into the market of companies like BluVision and AirFinder, who offer a 10x cheaper way of tracking assets.

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