Public Sector roundup: Hospital tracks with RFID

Scottish hospitals use RFID for asset tracking, Newcastle opts for e-records and a Glasgow regeneration group battles spam.

Asset tracking for Scottish hospitals

Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals are the first NHS institutions in Scotland to use an asset tracking system, initially rolled out to the Royal Alexandra Hopsital (RAH) in Paisley.

The Carillion IT Services system uses a wireless network and radio frequency identification tags to keep watch of the location of devices such as defibrillators, pumps and blood pressure monitors, giving staff quicker access to such life-saving equipment.

Jason Britton, clinical scientist at the RAH, said: "The technology that has been installed should improve efficiency at the hospital considerably due to reducing the amount of time healthcare professionals will spend trying to locate portable equipment as it is moved across different wards."

He added: "The amount of money we have invested on installing this cutting-edge technology should be recouped through the substantial savings we will make in precious staff time and resources and ensuring that all the potential benefits of the wireless network are properly exploited."

The hospital is also looking at using their new wireless network to support mobile Wi-Fi phones, to boost communication between emergency ward and the rest of the hospital.

Newcastle hospitals get US records tech

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust has teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) on an electronic health records project.

The 14-month plan will see three hospitals deploy five e-records applications, which help organise inpatient order entry, patient administration, pharmacy management, operating room systems and accident and emergency services.

"Our senior health care professionals are delighted with the opportunity to move forward with such enhanced IT systems. In addition, we are considering collaborations with UPMC in clinical medicine, research and development, which will be significantly strengthened by this IT improvement," said Dr Timothy Walls, medical director of Newcastle Hospitals.

The partnership will look to offers such systems to other UK hospital trusts as well.

Glasgow agency takes on spam

Glasgow North Regeneration Agency (GNRA) has opted for Credativ's Open Security Filter to protect its email systems and the organisation from spam and web-based attacks.

Once the system was installed, GNRA staff immediately noticed a decrease in spam, which helped boost efficiency of staff, as they no longer needed to trawl through so many bogus messages. And they receive a lot of spam - some 95 per cent of their messages are not genuine.

Julie Keane, GNRA IT manager, said: "It is easy for us to skim through the quarantined emails on a regular basis, rather than having our inboxes bombarded by them."

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