The Ohio State University Medical Center Leverages Expansive Wi-Fi Network

Jan. 6, 2010

Reston, VA — January 05, 2010 — Ekahau Inc., the performance leader in Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), today announced that The Ohio State University (OSU) Medical Center has selected the Ekahau RTLS solution as the foundation for enabling a wide variety of location tracking applications across its 5 million square foot campus.

For the past five years, OSU Medical Center has been named one of the country’s “Most Wired Hospitals” by Hospital & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. Hospitals earn this prestigious designation through the inventive use of wireless and Internet technologies. The decision to deploy Ekahau RTLS for location tracking applications is further evidence of the ways in which OSU Medical Center is an innovation leader, utilizing information technology to achieve greater operational efficiencies, reduce overall costs and improve patient care and safety.

In mid-2009, OSU Medical Center’s IT department evaluated a select few Wi-Fi-based RTLS solutions that could leverage the hospital’s system-wide, medical-grade Wi-Fi network from Cisco Systems Inc. OSU Medical Center has deployed approximately 3,000 WI-Fi access points and 30 network controllers as part of a mission to unwire their entire campus. Ekahau RTLS was chosen because of its superior location accuracy, ability to monitor location of assets across multiple buildings on campus and at far-flung satellite locations, and the fact it did not require additional investment in proprietary hardware, such as sensors or chokepoints and could yet deliver the accuracy needed to satisfy OSU Medical Center’s requirements.

“We chose to leverage a Wi-Fi-based system for a number of reasons: It enables us to get full coverage out of the box; it supports advanced capabilities, such as two-way messaging; and it can provide room-level and sub-room location accuracy where needed,” said Chad Neal, Director of Technology at OSU Medical Center. “Ekahau’s Wi-Fi-based approach for RTLS gives us the flexibility to deploy tags and services anywhere, anytime without having to incur additional infrastructure costs and determine how to allocate those costs across multiple departments in a large organization, such as ours.”

OSU Medical Center will begin the first phase of deploying the Ekahau RTLS system this month, starting with tracking and managing of a thousand key clinical assets, such as compression devices, IV pumps and isolation carts among other things. The hospital then will subsequently deploy additional Ekahau tags on variety of mobile medical equipment, ranging from robotic delivery systems to wheelchairs. Ekahau RTLS also is expected to be used to track the location of patients, to ensure safety and improve care. Two-way communications capabilities inherent in Ekahau RTLS will support staff safety and Wi-Fi-paging applications, as well. Within the next few years, OSU Medical Center estimates that the Ekahau RTLS solution will be used track more than 15,000 items and individuals, delivering efficiencies, improving safety and lowering costs across the entire system.

The Ekahau RTLS solution provides OSU Medical Center with a wide range of information about the location and status of all tracked items and individuals, or events logged on the system. In addition to built-in reporting, Ekahau’s XML API provides OSU Medical Center the ability to then perform their own analytics on anything being tracked, in order to evaluate where efficiencies could be gained or procedures improved. The API also enables the hospital to integrate Ekahau’s location data into other systems within the hospital.

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