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811 posts

Ultimate Geek


#272433 24-Jun-2020 18:32
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I work in a large suite of operating rooms.

 

My colleagues and I spend huge amounts of time and energy rushing around trying to track down scarce pieces of mobile equipment such as ultrasound machines and specialised anaesthesia monitors.

 

We've tried various ways of keeping track of them Eg a whiteboard where you write down where you're taking the kit etc, but it falls down when someone forgets to use the board. Even if it's recorded on the board, you still have to go to look at the board, and even then the board isn't going to help when the kit has been taken straight from one OR to another.

 

What I want is some kind of "Marauder's Map" that shows where everything is.

 

We've tried Tiles, but the map isn't good enough to be useful.

 

Any ideas?





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  #2511821 24-Jun-2020 22:12
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Hi there, have you looked in to barcode asset scanning? It could take a bit of training to implement but might work as a long term solution.


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  #2511836 24-Jun-2020 22:53
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Unfortunately this appears to be one of those unsolvable mysteries of life.

Maybe a short rope, with a large granny knot securing it......

(Anything which involves 'people' 'doing' something - is destined to fail, sadly)

 
 
 
 


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  #2511840 24-Jun-2020 23:01
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It is very solvable but requires some fairly significant investment. Basically installing some form of asset tracking system.

 

Typically it involves some sort of ceiling mounted beacons in a grid with active asset tags. There is then some form of software.

 

The ROI is pretty decent (internationally nurses waste about 72 minutes per 8 hour shift looking for staff, patients and assets) but there is a significant investment.




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Ultimate Geek


  #2511887 25-Jun-2020 07:06
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I think I might be able to do something with php to make a "virtual whiteboard" which we could update from our phones. (Once I've studied PHP beyond Wordpress themes!)





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  #2511890 25-Jun-2020 07:25
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If people don't take the time to write on a real whiteboard I really wonder if they'll spend even more time to take their phone out (which might not be on them), launch the app or browser, navigate around, and do what needs to be done. It'd take much longer than a whiteboard.


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  #2511892 25-Jun-2020 07:33
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RFID Dots on gear and RFID Readers

 

Depends on what level of tracking you need. Is it down to room level or just who took it out of the equipment room?

 

We do Tag systems for busses so happy to talk more about it


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  #2511898 25-Jun-2020 07:50
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You said you tried Tiles, what about that (or some other BLE device) and something like this? https://community.home-assistant.io/t/monitor-reliable-multi-user-distributed-bluetooth-occupancy-presence-detection/68505

 

 

 

You could probably integrate it easily enough with something else as it just spits out MQTT. You would need Pi Zeros (or other BLE enabled computers, Pi Zeros are probably the cheapest option - or at least the most reliable cheap option) in the locations you want to define however.

 





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Ultimate Geek


  #2511903 25-Jun-2020 08:06
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Tie helium-inflated balloons to the items, and write what they are on the balloons. Also tie ‘put me back’ labels on to everything.





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  #2511965 25-Jun-2020 08:41
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There seems to be many asset tracking systems aimed at hospitals. Maybe North Shore tried one in 2010.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/3648679/Hospital-opts-for-RFID-tags

With 20 DHB in NZ there's probably that number of separate attempts to find a solution.

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Master Geek


  #2511986 25-Jun-2020 09:10
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Does each piece of equipment have a home that it should be returned to?  We have been making our own foam shadow boards to organise our small tools, has saved a huge amount of time looking for things that are so commonly used, and we now check the boards first thing and track down anything missing before work starts.  

 

We're now working on kitting each process, like site measurements and made a dedicated kit of what we need.

 

If your units are floor standing then maybe some coloured tape on the floor to show parking spot with same colour tape on the unit?  It's a simple system so it still relies on peoples behavior, but having a quick visual queue that something is missing could help with that item being returned before someone having to go look for it.

 

 

 

Here's some pictures of what we've made:

 

Site Measure Kit

 

 

Cutter Insert

 

 

Assorted tool tray we made for a Customer:

 

 

 

 

I'm interested to see what other ideas people have!


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  #2511994 25-Jun-2020 09:24
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Bung: There seems to be many asset tracking systems aimed at hospitals. Maybe North Shore tried one in 2010.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/3648679/Hospital-opts-for-RFID-tags

With 20 DHB in NZ there's probably that number of separate attempts to find a solution.

 

Probably each private hospital and each medical school also have 'solutions' of varying capability and usefulness.
Dozens of systems, probably few of them very reliable or effective.

 

     

  1. If money is no object, you just buy one of everything for each operating room
    The staff will love it, the accountants will need a lie down
  2. Or there's the bureaucratic solution: all the equipment is held in a central store and must be checked out from the store when needed and checked in again as soon as it's not required.
    Doing a direct room-to-room transfer or failing to immediately return a device to The Store is a severe disciplinary offence.
    The staff will hate it, but it will work, provided that The System is rigorously enforced.
  3. If you want a technical solution (and this is GeekZone!) then you are also going to have to spend quite a lot of money.
    At least one RFID patch on each device, a network of RFID readers on every door (each one needs cabling) and a central server to catch all the messages from the readers, 'know' what's where, and serve up the data in a digestible form. I think that big highly active warehouses are using this kind of technology, but I imagine the specialised software is very far from cheap.

 

 


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  #2512002 25-Jun-2020 09:45
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I suspect for something to do all that you are asking would be expensive, getting below room level accuracy will likely require a bespoke solution...

 

 

 

This is from Apple's iBeacon documentation

 

"Q: Can I use iBeacon technology to precisely show a user’s location on a map when indoors?
A: Due to the issues around signal strength and the variabilities in deployment environments,
iBeacon technology is not intended to be used for specific location identification. It should be capable of providing room-level accuracy,"

 

https://developer.apple.com/ibeacon/Getting-Started-with-iBeacon.pdf


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  #2512021 25-Jun-2020 10:15
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I need to solve this at home with handtools and powertools. Still dont know where my ryobi jigsaw is to put a cat door in.

 

Ive not seen anything that works with small stick on RFID tags over a distance reliably when there are mulitple tags. The long distance readers ive found are all made for a single card sized tag in a car at a carpark exit type thing, and cant handle hitting several cards at once.

 

 





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  #2512032 25-Jun-2020 10:27
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Lock it up and request a bond. They get the bond back when the item is returned. If a cost centre is available, charge them for it for every "lost" item.

 

 

 

 





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  #2512040 25-Jun-2020 10:38
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Adamanski:

 

Does each piece of equipment have a home that it should be returned to?  We have been making our own foam shadow boards to organise our small tools, has saved a huge amount of time looking for things that are so commonly used, and we now check the boards first thing and track down anything missing before work starts.  

 

 

@Adamanski Would you mind sharing how you cut those foam panels out so neatly and precisely? I'd love to do that for my toolbox drawers.





Mike

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