How much time do staff waste searching for equipment?

Statistics show nurses spend hours per day scouring multi-story hospitals and adjoining wings in search of vital equipment to serve their patients. Time being crucial, lost equipment can lead to dangerous situations.

An improvement to this process was found in late 2005 using LP WAN technology which scanned for assets in a room. This was a great opportunity to learn about asset usage, however costs associated forced the technology to be cost prohibitive for the majority on businesses.

In 2017 iottag rolled out the first automated system utilising cost effective Bluetooth technology, an out of the box solution that automates the location process, to complete the task in a fraction of a second (one tenth of a second to be precise) was born.

RTLS (real-time location system) is a simple solution which gives nurses pinpoint location of their equipment on a map – so items can be located in seconds.


A Real-time location system (RTLS) is used to automatically identify and track the location of objects or people in real-time.

Generally, in indoor RTLS wireless tags are placed onto the object or person being tracked. Fixed reference points (aka gateways) receive wireless signals from the tags to determine their location.

Understanding the problem –

Nurses spend valuable time searching for lost equipment

Studies have found that nurses waste 10% of their time searching for lost equipment. Nurses make up to over a quarter of a hospital’s budget, this means high cost on time and money for hospitals. Roughly 10 million dollars per Annum for a large Australian hospital. An RTLS solution would cost a fraction of that price to set up and less to maintain, saving a fortune.

Finding equipment fast can be life saving

In fact, when there are greater numbers of healthcare devices, this leads to more difficulty in finding the much-needed device. That could lead to underutilization of critical equipment. A study found that many hospitals report equipment utilization rates of lower than 50%, which is well below the industry accepted use rate of 70 – 80%.

How to optimise time spent searching for lost equipment

10-15% of hospitals use real-time tracking of their equipment, with a resultant reduction in time spent searching for devices. As more and more medical facilities adopt some type of indoor locating systems, time lost in searching for equipment and even staff will drop significantly, freeing time up for what really matters; providing the best possible care to patients.

Do you have wasted equipment? gathering dust?

Another large benefit of a Real-time location system for a hospital is the statistics that result from knowing when equipment gets used and where it gets used. From this data, the right amount of equipment can be maintained and ordered. As a result of knowing when equipment has been used and how often, they can better utilize the equipment- achieving the industry accepted use rate of 70 – 80%


  • View your assets on the map (equipment, tools and vehicles)
  • Emergency alerts if your assets leave your site
  • Be notified if your assets are underutilised
  • Automated daily audit



Nurses no longer spend 10% of their time looking for equipment. (according to this study)

Saved money

Hospitals will save up to 10 million per year on nurses time spent looking for equipment (extrapolation based on Royal Melbourne hospital’s budget)


Simply place a Bluetooth tag on an asset that needs to be tracked and wireless ‘gateways’ are placed throughout the site. These gateways receive ‘Bluetooth advertising’ — this is just a fancy way of saying they receive a signal from the tags. This signal tells the real-time location of the tag to the gateway and the gateway tells the Atlas system. The tag’s battery should last between one to five years.


We provide an affordable solution for all sizes of business whether small medium or enterprise.

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By Andrew Kelly | Categories: Industry Solutions

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About the Author : Andrew Kelly

After completing a PHD in low power wide area networking Andrew found himself as interested in the literature as the technology itself. Andrew now writes engaging and informative prose at iottag sunny office in Melbourne, for offices across the globe.