www.advanceweb.com | 2018 | FOCUS ON EDUCATION 21 FOCUS ON EDUCATION  |  INFORMATICS sometimes anxiously, for devices like IV pumps and crash carts. However, today, with the use of RTLS technology, these types of equip- ment cannot go hidden, borrowed or hoarded. “Our communication between our staff and the other interdisciplinary team members has been greatly enhanced; we can more quickly know where our patients are located as well as where are equipment and assets are,” she said. “With some of these systems, you can push a button and alert staff to an emergency, and bring the correct people into a room.” RTLS technology has also become greatly effective for something as “simple” as promot- ing hand hygiene, Mohiuddin said. “We can track how often sanitizers are being used when people enter [a patient’s] room and compare that data to our rate of hospital-acquired conditions,” she added. “We are also able to see how many people have gone into isolation rooms, and if there were any outbreaks, how many people were in a particular room and inform staff members who may need to have specific tests run related to an outbreak. Newborns can also be tagged and tracked to avoid the incidence of abduction, and through the use of smart cabinets, medical devices can be monitored as they are removed from shelves to determine when inventory is low and/or when items may have been misplaced. TECHNOLOGY & QUALITY As healthcare has moved toward a system based on quality, informat- ics and RTLS have also made an impact. “You’re decreasing costs by not having to buy additional equipment that you can’t find [through the use of these systems], Mohiuddin said. We can decrease delayed surgeries or overscheduling of surgeries. If you don’t know if you have a bed avail- able for a patient, you can go online and find that information quickly. There’s less overcrowding in units like the PACU and the emergency department. We are also better at making sure the right patient gets the right device from the right caregiver at the right time. ” Then there are the benefits to general safety measures as well, Mohiuddin said. “We can help prevent patients from wandering; we’re able to use this technology to track the right site of surgery, and there’s secure text messaging for communicating among staff in real time. The technology has just become much more all-encompassing.” MANAGEMENT & MOVING FORWARD On the administrative side, RTLS and informatics also have changed practice in ways that may not be realized until implementation occurs. “Technology can help identify the number of staff members that might be needed to avoid bottlenecks or if you need to distribute work differ- ently,” Mohiuddin said. “You can gauge if you have too little or too many types of devices. You don’t want to be in an emergency and not have enough, and you don’t want to have too many sitting around collecting dust or being stored in a hallway where someone could trip over them. Another advantage is having the ability to cut the cost of any lost equipment. A lot of the RTLS data can be integrated with EMRs, and today we see more EMRs that are more easily compatible with RTLS. The technology is also getting smaller, cheaper and faster.” n Joe Darrah is a freelance author based in the Philadelphia region who has been covering the healthcare field since 2004 Distance Education Programs. Highly Successful and NAACLS Accredited Meeting you where you are, academically and geographically, and taking you where you want to go. Track #1: Histotechnology Certificate Program (24 credit hours) Do you already hold an associate or bachelor degree? Applicants holding a qualifying degree from a regionally accredited college or university are eligible for the 24 credit hour certificate program. Graduates are eligible for the HT (ASCP) or HTL (ASCP) certification exam. Track #2: Associate of Science in Histotechnology (60 credit hours) This is a 60 credit hour degree program (30 undergraduate courses and 30 histotechnology program courses). Graduates will earn an Associate’s Degree in Histotechnology and will be provided with the knowledge and skills needed to sit for the ASCP National HT certification exam. Track #3: Are you HT (ASCP) Certified and wanting an Associate Degree? This track is a 60 credit hour degree program. Indiana University will award 24 credit hours for HT (ASCP) certification. Required general-education courses may be transferred from any accredited college or university or you can complete them through the IU Online. Contact Information Indiana University Histotechnology Program Program Office Phone: 317-274-1686 Email: IUHTinfo@iu.edu IndianaUniversity SchoolofMedicine