Flow management in hospitals : Improving the health and wellbeing of healthcare staff with indoor positioning.

For hospitals, managing patients, health workers and equipment is an ongoing, daily and even crucial challenge. This article provides insights as to how indoor positioning can help you optimize management of hospital-specific issues.


The key satisfaction factor for patients is how smooth their itinerary is, especially in outpatient centers. Indoor positioning solutions can significantly reduce the time patients wait for appointments while improving patient and visitor flow and more effectively connecting healthcare staff to patients. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, “To maintain smooth patient flow in the hospital and improve results and health experience, the hospital needs to be considered as an independent and interconnected health system”. Many hospitals are now aware of the growing need to maintain a smooth patient itinerary. To do so, they implement indoor positioning solutions.

Where to implement indoor positioning?

Patients are asked to download the smartphone app dedicated to the hospital. In this app, the Pole Star technology (NAO®SDK) is embedded. Thanks to Pole Star’s technology the location based app can enable patients to:
  • Access the hospital all the way from home. The app offers different itineraries to reach the hospital.
  • Find the parking spot the closest to the meeting point
  • Be guided step by step in the hospital to reach the appointment. With an interactive map, patients are led through different floors to their appointment.
Saved location data also help hospitals anticipate patients’ arrival, manage late patients, etc. If they don’t use mobile apps, patients can be asked to wear a wristband when they arrive. Then, you can monitor and keep track of patients at each step of their journey in the hospital.


On average, health workers spend 40 hours per month looking for equipment needed for patient treatment.
Looking for equipment is a huge loss of time for health staff. Hospitals often decide to purchase more equipment than required to compensate for this problem. On average, hospitals record an overinvestment in equipment of 20% in comparison to what is really necessary for patients to be efficiently treated.
Hospitals 4.0 are investing in indoor positioning to enable staff to dedicate more time to patient care and to reduce time wasted in looking for medical equipment.

How indoor positioning works in a hospital

Staff is equipped with a smartphone or a tablet on which an interactive map is installed. They can see all equipment on each floor and where the equipment they need is nearby.
The benefits of indoor positioning include:
  • Improved patient care: staff is more focused on patient’s treatment.
  • More efficient use of working time : 40 hours per month are saved by reducing the time spent on equipment search while reducing staff overtime.
  • Better wellbeing at work: staff spends less time on low added-value tasks empowering them to focus on patients.
In addition, indoor positioning systems help synchronize flows and limit useless investments:
  • Each year, lots of equipment are lost, stolen or destroyed. Pinpointing equipment considerably diminishes this net loss for the organization.
  • The use rate for equipment is optimized and can be tracked with IPS. Investments can also be adapted as close as possible to the hospital’s needs.
  • Each year, patients get lost in hospitals and never show up at appointments. This generates organizational problems and revenue loss.


Today over 70 hospitals have already implemented the Pole Star indoor location solution to improve equipment tracking and patient flow management, to reduce overall costs and to improve the quality of care and services while improving staff wellbeing. With 20 years of experience in innovative technology development, Pole Star delivers:
  • The best solutions on the market
  • Scalable, flexible technologies that can be tailored to the needs of any building, no matter the size
  • Affordable, cost-effective solutions.
  • Systems in compliance with the latest regulations (i.e. GDPR)
Do you want more information about Pole Star’s solutions for hospitals ? we would be delighted to hear from you!
Please contact us at: CONTACT US