Evaluating Real Time Location Sensing Applications in Hospital Workflow: A Systematic Review

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Catherine Xu Danny Wu


By Catherine Xu, Medical Sciences

Advisor: Danny Wu

Presentation ID: PM_B16

Abstract: Real time location sensing (RTLS) is a system that automatically tracks the location and identification of a person or object inside a building, most commonly through radio or infrared wave sensors. This study systematically reviewed the literature on the use of RTLS in a hospital setting following the procedures specified in the PRISMA guidelines. Eligibility criteria for publications were (1) articles which utilize a RTLS or equivalent technology to evaluate or influence a workflow, (2) included the full text, and (3) written in English. Publications describing studies (1) evaluating or using non-RTLS technology, (2) using RTLS that greatly depends on other types of technology, (3) using RTLS outside of a hospital setting, (4) not using RTLS to evaluate or influence in-hospital workflow systems, (5) evaluating ethical implications of RTLS, or (6) utilizing specific equipment for a surgical or laboratory process were excluded. Search terms were developed based on eligibility criteria in order to optimize search yield while maintaining reasonable precision of identified publications. Four rounds of searches were conducted: (1) using keyword "location tracking"; (2) limiting the search by looking for articles that used RFID, RTLS, or location tracking to evaluate workflow; (3) examining references of the papers already found in the first two rounds and (4) expanding the search to other databases. Rounds 1, 2 and 3 were conducted in PubMed. Round 4 is currently being conducted in IEEE, Medline, and Scopus.

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