Zebra Technologies helps NHS hospital boost efficiency

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 20-Sep-2023

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust digitises operational, procurement, and patient care workflows, saving nearly 90,000 staff hours annually

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is using Zebra Technologies’ MotionWorks real-time location solution (RTLS) to manage, track, and trace medical equipment across its two clinical campuses at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.

The trust, which provides healthcare to nearly one million patients annually, needed technology to track its critical equipment.

Within its Scan4Safety programme, an initial radio frequency identification (RFID) pilot was planned for its intensive care unit (ICU) since it was difficult to track life-sustaining machines accompanying ICU patients as they were moved across wards and departments.

And the real-time data insights generated by Zebra’s RFID solution has helped the trust reduce costs, driven by better procurement decisions and stock management.

Patient care has also improved, with the ability to prevent procedure cancellations due to misplaced items, helping ensure quick access to critical equipment during surgeries.

And, based on these outcomes, The trust has expanded the use of the solution across both main campuses and all patient-facing departments, saving 35 hours across 2,500 staff for a total of 87,500 hours annually shifted from looking for items to caring for patients.

“We believe this is the biggest deployment of RFID in healthcare for real-time location tracking in Europe, and Zebra has been a great support,” said Rachael Ellis, Scan4Safety programme director at the trust.

“The system is flexible and easy to use, and colleagues have taken to it quickly, so we see huge potential for RFID to be deployed across other trusts.

“The best outcome is a clear improvement to patient care.

“If we always have the right equipment on-hand when it’s needed, we can ultimately shorten length of stays, which is a great result.”

Zebra and its partners, Tagnos, and The Barcode Warehouse collaborated closely with the trust to design and implement the solution, which includes FX7500 fixed RFID readers, TC52-HC rugged mobile computers, RFD8500 handheld RFID sleds, and ZT411 RFID industrial printers.

The solution is also supported by Zebra’s OneCare maintenance plan.

“We are delighted the trust is benefitting from Zebra’s MotionWorks solution, which has digitised and streamlined its operational, procurement and patient care workflows,” said Wayne Miller, healthcare solutions director for EMEA at Zebra Technologies.

“Zebra and its healthcare partners are creating and delivering technology solutions that enable clinicians to improve patient outcomes by elevating care through increased efficiency and productivity.”

The trust plans to expand the Zebra MotionWorks solution to track patients’ personal belongings and manage equipment inventory.

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