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In the healthcare industry, the importance of infection control cannot be overstated. Timely interventions, stringent hygiene practices, and efficient tracking of people and infectious diseases are crucial in preventing outbreaks within healthcare facilities. COVID-19 was a wake-up call for most health systems dealing with infectious diseases.  Amidst growing challenges posed by rapidly evolving pathogens viruses, Artificial Intelligence-powered Real-Time Location Systems (AI-RTLS) have emerged as a vital tool in the arsenal of healthcare hygiene in the battle against infectious diseases. AI-RTLS is not merely a technology; it’s a system that ensures the highest standards of infection control are maintained and safeguarded both for the benefit of patients and healthcare providers.

The Challenge of Infection control in healthcare

Infection control has always been a primary concern within healthcare settings for quite some time. The unique and uncertain nature and the rapid transmission of infections in crowded hospitals can pose significant risks to patients, staff, and visitors. The emergence of new pathogens, such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria and novel viruses, further complicates the situation. Given this mass uncertainty, health systems are always at risk of being overthrown by a single virus. Maintaining strict hygiene protocols, timely identification of outbreaks, and effective containment measures are paramount to prevent the spread of infections and protect vulnerable populations. In addition to this, Staff must be educated and trained to follow basic protocols such as handwashing to prevent the likelihood of such a pathogen entering the system. But how can health systems monitor this?

AI-RTLS: A guardian of Hygiene 

AI-RTLS systems introduce a game-changing approach to infection control by providing real-time insights into the movement of patients, staff, and assets within a healthcare facility within a given timeframe. This AI-RLTS system uses a network of sensors, tags, and sophisticated data analytics to offer an accurate and up-to-the-minute view of the healthcare environment and the status of various assets across the hospital. From patient tracking to asset monitoring, AI-RTLS ensures that every aspect of hygiene and infection control is closely watched and managed. This means that AI-RTLS can ensure that Staff follows basic protocols such as washing their hands and changing scrubs to monitor what equipment has been used in the infectious ward. AI-RTLS can stay on top of things to ensure that health leaders have more time to solve problems that need immediate attention.

Contact Tracing: The Key to Rapid Response

During outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or when a contagious patient is identified, contact tracing becomes a critical tool in preventing further transmission within the hospital. The goal becomes to find all staff, patients, or individuals who have been in contact with the contagious patient. AI-RTLS can simplify this and accelerate this process by providing a detailed log of interactions between individuals. This data log can help quickly isolate potentially contagious individuals to prevent a full-on outbreak. With AI-RTLS healthcare facilities can quickly identify potential contacts and come up with solutions to contain the infection. This swift action, powered by AI-RTLS is a game changer for ground staff when dealing with infectious diseases.

Predictive Analytics: Anticipating Outbreaks

While it is important to know how to quickly contain a health crisis it is even more important to know how to predict one and make sure it doesn’t occur. AI-RTLS has that covered as well, by analyzing historical data and trends, the system can predict potential outbreaks before they occur. This proactive measure allows healthcare facilities to allocate resources, adjust staffing levels, and implement infection control measures preemptively in preparation for an incoming outbreak. These predictive analytics are a powerful tool in staying one step ahead of infectious diseases.

Enhancing healthcare Hygiene

Efficient infection control is not merely a regulatory requirement; it’s a fundamental aspect of patient safety and public health and it is a core aspect of a healthy health system. AI-RTLS ensures that healthcare facilities have the tools needed to maintain impeccable hygiene standards. It empowers healthcare providers to deliver care in a safe and sanitized environment, instilling confidence in patients and their families. By setting up various trackers at washing and hygiene stations, health systems can ensure that their ground staff are clean and meet the health standards of the health system. With a clean and prepared workforce, health systems are better equipped to tackle infectious diseases.

The Future of Infection Control

Infection control is a delicate and tricky matter. Given the uncertain nature of viruses and diseases, it is difficult for health systems to combat them head-on. The future of Infection control will heavily rely on the data and capabilities of AI-RTLS-like systems that can monitor various infection parameters of a health system. By keeping a watchful eye on various assets, patients, and quality controls, health leaders can take more time to come up with the right plans to combat infectious diseases and viruses.