AT&T Delivers Benefits of RFID Inventory Tracking to Health First
AT&T Delivers Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Asset Tracking for Leading East Florida Health Care Provider to Track Vital Infusion Pumps
Orlando, Florida, February 26, 2008
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a contract with Health First to deliver AT&T's RFID Asset Tracking Solution. The contract could extend to as many as 40 locations, including health care planning offices, health and fitness facilities, various clinics and three major hospitals serving east-central Florida.
AT&T's RFID Asset Tracking Solution works seamlessly with Health First's existing wireless network infrastructure and enables hospital staff to benefit from precise, on-demand asset tracking. A wireless-based RFID tag sends regular signals to keep track of equipment and personnel locations and provides status updates, which are available for hospital staff to view with a Web browser anywhere on a health care facility's wireless network.
AT&T's RFID Asset Tracking Solution will enable Health First, a leading provider of health care on Florida's east coast, to track both the movement of infusion pumps through the hospital system and the sanitization of these lifesaving devices after use by a patient. Because of their importance to patient care, infusion pumps need to be distributed efficiently throughout the hospital system so that each unit requiring infusion services has access when needed. Furthermore, the cleaning of infusion pumps must be extremely thorough and closely monitored in order to ensure the safety of future patients.
With AT&T's RFID Asset Tracking Solution, hospital management and administrators will be able to locate and track the movement of infusion pumps throughout the network and therefore enhance the efficiency of distribution routes for different units, as well as establish an alert system for infusion pumps requiring immediate sanitization.
Infusion pumps are a vital piece of health care equipment. They feed fluids, medication or nutrients into a patient's circulatory system. Infusion pumps help hospitals administer fluids for patients at regular intervals that would prove both expensive and unreliable if performed manually by nursing staff. These devices manage fluids and medicines flowing into patients at extremely exact levels and are therefore complex pieces of equipment and exceptionally valuable during day-to-day hospital operations.
The first phase of Health First's deployment will start at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Fla.
"Hospitals are facing lower reimbursements from government programs like Medicaid and Medicare and increasing demand for expensive equipment, and so we need to manage our assets very cost effectively and, of course, safely," said Richard Rogers, senior vice president of Support Services and chief information officer, Health First. "By decreasing the time we spend locating infusion pumps that are ready for use by clinical staff and maintaining them more efficiently, we will require less surplus inventory of these expensive devices. This will help us control costs throughout the Health First hospital system while also further enhancing the safety and security of our vital medical equipment."
AT&T is the first network services company to provide a comprehensive RFID solution for the health care industry and is announcing Health First's new RFID contract in conjunction with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2008 Annual Conference, from Feb. 24 - 28, in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center.
"In the demanding health care environment, enhanced visibility and accuracy regarding the location of people and critical assets are crucial to providing optimal clinical care," said John Stuhrenberg, vice president, Government, Education, Medical (GEM), AT&T Southeast. "By introducing mobile technology, such as RFID, to the health care workplace, staff can save time, eliminate unnecessary costs, reduce theft and unnecessary inventory and, most important, deliver better patient care."
AT&T's RFID Asset Tracking Solution is part of AT&T's overall portfolio of sensor-based networking solutions that enable businesses to track a wide variety of valuable resources in real time.
For more information about AT&T solutions for the health care market, please visit www.corp.att.com/healthcare/.
For more information about AT&T RFID solutions for the health care market, please visit http://www.corp.att.com/healthcare/rfid.html.
Note: This AT&T release and other news announcements are available as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss.
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About Health First
Believing that "Together, we're better," three not-for-profit hospitals—Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, and Palm Bay Community Hospital in Palm Bay—form the core of Health First's family in Brevard County on Florida's Space Coast. Health First was formed when CCH, HRMC, and PBCH joined together in August 1995 to create a truly integrated not-for-profit healthcare delivery system and fulfill a common mission of improving the health of our community. The first new services added in the Health First family were Health First Physicians, opening in late 1995, and Health First Health Plans, opening in January 1996. Since then, we've added many other services, including outpatient centers, the county's only trauma center, home care, specialized programs for cancer, diabetes, heart, stroke and rehabilitative services, central Brevard's largest medical group, three fitness centers, and Medicare Advantage, commercial POS and commercial HMO health plans. Working together in a seamless system, Health First is devoted to integrating quality healthcare services with state-of-the-art technology.
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