When Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) in Dothan, Ala, was looking to implement a real time location system (RTLS) to track assets in their hospital, they took a step we mostly associate with HR departments looking into a new hire—they checked references.  

“When we started talking to a few of the references, they gave us a few of the key takeaways that they’ve learned, like how to set up a map to be more efficient,” says Scott Lapham, senior network engineer at SAMC. “By hearing what other people are doing, you may or may not go down that route but it at least gives you that thought process to make sure you’re thinking about everything that comes into play.”

When it came down to making the decision, the hospital had a lot of honest feedback to work with from others in similar situations. “We heard good things about certain vendors and we heard bad things about vendors and we had to take that into account regarding our unique situation,” Lapham says.

In addition to helping them choose the best RTLS, it also opened the door to a working relationship with peers. Since every hospital is in a unique situation, Lapham used RTLS as a common bond. “The way I look at it is it’s nice to be able to talk to your peers not necessarily from a reference standpoint, but to see their pains too,” he says. “A few people that we’ve talked have said things about what they’re looking at tagging that we hadn’t even thought about. It’s a reference call but it’s more of a relationship with our peers trying to learn the whole process.”

How does your team connect with other biomeds and hospitals one-on-one, and what’s the easiest way to break the ice? We invite your suggestions.

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