Encompass offers benefits of a real-time location system in simple, fast, flexible, cost-efficient solution

Via General Electric Newsroom

Jun 9, 2017

GE Healthcare Helps Lead the Way in Bringing Bluetooth® Low Energy Wireless Asset Tracking Technology to Hospitals

GE Healthcare is introducing Encompass, a cost-effective solution that helps hospitals manage mobile asset inventory, reduce total cost of ownership and achieve better capital allocation. It enables healthcare providers to find critical mobile assets in real-time with accuracy and ease so they can spend less time searching for equipment and more time focused on providing quality patient care.

Over the past 15 years, real-time location systems (RTLS) have been proven to help hospitals significantly improve management of critical mobile clinical assets, right-size inventories, and save up to millions of dollars in capital and maintenance costs.[1] However, significant obstacles around implementation of traditional RTLS – including large capital expenditures and long, disruptive deployment programs – have limited its market penetration to just 15 to 20 percent.[2]

Encompass is poised to achieve new levels of RTLS adoption by helping your facility enable better patient care, operational efficiency and financial performance with a simple, fast, flexible and cost-efficient solution. Built upon open standards and commercial Bluetooth Low Energy wireless technology that leverages a hospital’s existing Wi-Fi® network, this approach eliminates the classic objections to proprietary hard-wired locating systems. For example:

  • It can be installed in a matter of days instead of months, and without opening ceilings or drilling into walls to run cable.
  • The capital and installation cost is up to 60 percent lower than for cabled RTLS. There is no requirement for separate, dedicated on-site application and database servers for the hospital to maintain and no dedicated software to update. Furthermore, the applications can be provided as a subscription service.
  • The system readily scales to accommodate growth and can be easily reconfigured if hospital layouts are redesigned or repurposed.
  • As a cloud-based application, the location system is accessible to any authorized staff member and from any computer or mobile device with internet access.

“Finally, there is an asset tracking solution that isn’t so problematic to implement,” said Rob Reilly, Vice President and General Manager, U.S. & Canada Services, GE Healthcare. “Also, the opportunity for ROI is quicker. We believe this means that nursing and HTM departments who have been asking for real-time asset tracking capabilities are going to start getting approvals from decision-makers.”

Encompass combines the experience of GE Healthcare in medical devices and hospital operations management with the expertise of its technology partner, Zebra Technologies, a market leader in enterprise mobile computing solutions.

“Zebra is pleased to collaborate with GE Healthcare as we see transformative value from this innovative, practical, and easy-to-implement solution,” said Chris Sullivan, Global Healthcare Practice Lead, Zebra Technologies. “With Enterprise Asset Intelligence built by real-time visibility, clinicians now have reduced operational distractions and a greater ability to maximize their focus on patient care. This is a good thing for all of us, and contributes to a higher-quality, lower-cost patient care environment.”

GE Healthcare’s asset performance management (APM) solutions use data and analytics to help improve the reliability and availability of a hospital’s assets, minimize total cost of ownership, and reduce operational risks. GE Healthcare’s APM vision is to give healthcare providers a holistic, unified view of their GE and non-GE assets by seamlessly integrating with their existing data stores. Encompass fits into the APM ecosystem of predicting, maintaining, locating and analyzing the asset fleet and related operational activities so that the right decisions can be made at the right time.

[1] Out of Control: How clinical asset proliferation and low utilization are draining healthcare budgets, 2012

[2] TechNation Magazine, “Roundtable: Real Time Location Systems,” March 2017

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