Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 29, 2011

Beijing Hospital Chooses Ekahau for Hazardous Medical Waste Disposal

Ekahau Inc., a provider of high performance Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), announced today that Guang'anmen Hospital in Beijing, has chosen Ekahau's RTLS system to monitor hazardous medical waste disposal, responsible for installation and support.

HKC Technology Co. will integrate the new technology.

Guang'anmen Hospital is affiliated with China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, focusing on clinical practice, scientific research and education, according to the press release.

“A secure disposal of medical waste is important for safety and compliance reasons,” said Jie Wang, head of disposal control at the hospital. “For this purpose, our hospital personnel will carry Ekahau T301BD personnel badges, and the medical waste truck will be equipped with the Ekahau T301A asset tags. The medical waste truck can only open the container cover at certain waste collection points, if a person nearby is carrying the T301BD badge. In case of unauthorized opening of the medical waste truck cover, Ekahau's T301A tamper sensor will trigger an alert sent to the truck-paired personnel, as well as the disposal control room. Also, in an emergency, personnel can trigger an alarm with tag buttons, to inform staff members exactly where help is needed.”

Added Samuel Ng, deputy CEO at HKC, in the press release, “We selected Ekahau as our partner because a route tracking system must be able to guarantee that it can locate the source of the alert - and Ekahau can provide precisely this capability. Ekahau offers the highest location accuracy and has the best real-time performance. Ekahau's solution also is compatible with the co-existing hospital PDA systems installation operating over the Cisco WLAN.”

“We're very pleased that the collaboration between HKC and the GAMH has gone so smoothly,” said Mika Kouhia, regional sales director APAC, at Ekahau, in the press release. “With these positive experiences, I see a strong foundation for the implementation of new collaborative projects in China.”

Hazardous waste is anything that can be threatening to the public or the environment. Medical waste includes blood-soaked bandages; culture dishes and other glassware; discarded surgical gloves; discarded surgical instruments; discarded needles used to give shots or draw blood (sometimes called “medical sharps”); cultures, stocks, swabs used to inoculate cultures; removed body organs (e.g., tonsils, appendices, limbs), and discarded lancets, according to the EPA.

Medical waste can be generated at health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, dental practices, blood banks, and veterinary hospitals/clinics, medical research facilities and laboratories. estimates the cost of disposing medical waste “is currently over $480 per ton, compared to municipal waste at a cost of around $24 per ton.”

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Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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