As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to exhaust the country’s health care system, hospitals and other health care facilities are seeking more ways to minimize contact and slow the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. The goal, of course, is to actively treat those who have contracted the virus while also providing safe methods for those who need to meet with their providers for other health care needs. But how can you take care of one population without putting the others at unnecessary risk? That’s where IoT comes in.
Innovative by nature, IoT can help make many traditional processes contact-free, adapting to the ongoing situation with capabilities that make sense. Here are just a few of the ways that IoT can enhance the safety and effectiveness of health care offices and hospitals during this uncertain time.
1. Use Telemedicine to Minimize the Transmission Risk
If you’ve had a doctor’s visit lately, you may have been surprised to find that instead of visiting the office, you were asked to log in to a portal and have your appointment via computer or smartphone. By limiting the patients coming and going from offices, there’s less of a chance that COVID-19 will be spread. Instead, practically all non-essential visits are being conducted through telemedicine – along with the data and insights that accompany each after-visit summary.
2. Continually Monitor Temperatures and Compile Data
From wearable technology to infrared temperature scanners, today’s health care industry has several options for tracking the temperatures of patients and conducting daily symptom screens without direct contact. This can have a major impact on flattening the Coronavirus curve, as distancing is proven to be one of the most effective methods for bringing numbers down. Afterwards, any data collected for individual patients can be analyzed to create insights and track trends or emerging patterns. Having access to this kind of information will be invaluable as the medical field continues learning about Coronavirus and the extent of its effects.
3. Know Inventory and Resource Levels with Hospital Equipment Tracking
As many remember from the initial U.S. outbreak that saw NYC’s extensive hospital network struggle to keep up with the influx of Coronavirus patients, during a pandemic, it’s easy for equipment to be in short supply. With the help of equipment tracking IoT, it’s easier for facilities to keep track of where their equipment is being used and how much inventory remains. This can be particularly helpful, if needed, in identifying the need for more resources before there’s a shortage or a strain placed on the facility.
4. Keep Patients Safe with Real-Time Patient Location Alerts
At clinics and doctors’ offices, patient location tracking can be utilized to monitor waiting rooms, let health care teams know when patients have arrived, and even to let patients who prefer to wait in their cars know when it’s their turn to be seen. In hospitals, sensor tracking can be utilized to prevent patients from accidentally wandering into unauthorized or contaminated areas. In the event of a positive COVID-19 result, contact tracing can also be implemented to track any potential cross-contamination between patients and health care employees.
5. Manage Hand Hygiene Compliance
Using our IoT zone software, you can boost accountability by monitoring hand hygiene compliance and ensuring proper methods are being used, including length of time washing and frequency. This easy step can greatly reduce the risk of health care-associated infections and help to decrease the possibility of Coronavirus transmission. Rely on cloud-based software to send reminders and activated sensors to track sanitization equipment use per unique employee. By being vigilant about washing and sanitizing hands – a simple, but very important need – health care facilities can better support a safe and healthy environment for patients and staff.
The connected world of IoT delivers great benefits to health care facilities of all sorts, whether they be complex hospital networks or a small family practice. To see how we can leverage the countless possibilities of IoT for your business or industry, explore even more of our capabilities or reach out to our expert team.