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Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Matt Castledine] #23107 19/04/07 8:11 PM
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Yes I did put a case forward it was some time ago , I worked out where I thought the clocks were needed, decided on the battery powered radio controlled option, got a price for fitting them to the wall from our PFI partners (as in cowboys).

Then presented the issue as a problem to our Health and Safety Officer between us we then sent an initial business case to the Trust board who said “it would cost too much and that as we hadn’t had any real problems so far, you can’t have the money!”

The standardisation to GMT was presented as a recommendation to the different Matrons, clinical user groups, care groups etc to look at, discuss and make a decision collectively (oh yes! you say, “that’s likely to produce a consensus”), however the communication also stated that we would be setting any equipment we were asked to change to GMT from now on unless the consensus was different.

No Geoff not rocket science but politics.

Lee


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Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Lee S] #23109 20/04/07 7:57 AM
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I think that with todays technology - Manufacturers should be lobbied to see whether they can solve this age old problem with automated timezone software. We should all put it forward as a suggestion to improve design. It would be a selling point too. smile


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Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: John Sandham] #23111 20/04/07 9:15 AM
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How about the old RFID? Active systems have 2-way data comms across the "network" don't they? Hence a near real-time central "network time" update could be possible in theory if "time stamping" were included as a facility.

As I've said before an RFID module included in, or on, and probably powered by, the medical devices could be a solution for tracking, time and date, service required/error flags, etc.

This would require some open communications/power standard between active RFID and medical devices I think. To provide power when the tag is active and communicating and allow RFID modules to be connected to "ports" or connectors built into PCBs or onto the equipment case.

In theory each item of medical equipment could update its own time (when it's powered-up), report diagnostic errors or flag that service is required (from an internal timer) and there would be the benefit of tracking as well.

Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: ] #23125 20/04/07 5:01 PM
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Yeah ... especially Roberts pumps. Ha, ha. smile


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Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Geoff Hannis] #23126 20/04/07 5:04 PM
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Why not, John. After all, PC's have been able to do it for years! smile


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Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Geoff Hannis] #23128 20/04/07 5:14 PM
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Horses for courses, Geoff. Although I haven't seen or worked on a Robert's pump for years and I wasn't aware that they told the time or that their use on a patient was recorded as part of their function for medico-legal reasons.

The sort of equipment I'm referring to is £5000 defibrillator monitors, £15,000 CTG machines, £20,000 endoscopes and associated equipment on video endoscopy stacks; ventilators and anaesthetics workstations.

High-risk devices that cost a lot to replace, have to have a lot of service-input, need to be located for servicing often and whose uptime needs to be maintained and that needs to record an accurate time and date for medico-legal purposes.

Wouldn't the ability to have a device that can transmit an error automatically and for this to be located on a PC network be useful to servicing departments? Can we always rely on operators to tell us where it is or what the indicated fault is?

Back to here and now, rather than "yesteryear", from personal experience, what I am hearing of are significant numbers of £600 suction units "walking" off resuscitation trolleys, never to be seen again. How much are passive RF-tags and sensors?

Perhaps if passive RF-tagged cases were used for these devices and on those used for storing flexible endoscopes and there were monitoring at the exits of the hospital then maybe the rate of thefts, if not servicing issues, could be reduced.

Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: John Sandham] #23129 20/04/07 5:35 PM
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Quote:
I think that with todays technology - Manufacturers should be lobbied to see whether they can solve this age old problem with automated timezone software. We should all put it forward as a suggestion to improve design. It would be a selling point too.


The problem is not with telling the time or keeping a timesource in a particular area updated - it's with physically transferring this "Centralised" or "Standard" time to the equipment - most of which has internal logging these days.

This can only be achieved automatically, via a wireless network, for example, in my opinion. There's too much equipment to do it, within a reasonable time, any other way, i.e. manually. I have a £200 German watch that can do this no problem.

Tie this in with features or functionality, e.g. RF-tagging, that helps to prevent theft, can be used for remote diagnostics, locating equipment, etc, then it becomes worthwhile updating the time automatically making this a "value-added" function.

Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Geoff Hannis] #23484 18/05/07 10:19 AM
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Hi all,

Sadly I’m still looking at this project, our delivery unit are now wanting to trial a radio controlled wall clock, however I’m a little concerned after reading various manufacturers literature regarding the frequency that these clocks actually check the time signal for accuracy.
Ideally you would want one to check the time every hour, but in order to conserve battery power understandably they don’t do this, which leaves the potential that some units may not actually “realise” the time has changed at BST/UTC for an hour or more. Has anyone any experience of a suitable unit where the correct operation has been confirmed or can suggest a supplier?

Many thanks for your continued responses.

Matt

Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Matt Castledine] #23504 20/05/07 8:58 AM
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In the earlier thread linked to by Huw, from the good old days of 2000-2002 (before my appearance on the forum, I might add – halcyon days indeed), there was talk of a “new standard”, using GMT (UST, whatever). What became of all that, I wonder?

Like most engineering technicians (as opposed to clinical technologists, that is), I have no problem with any time format, and can’t really see why others still have trouble “working out” 24-hour bus time-tables (for example). But I doubt that things will be changing any time soon in a country still dithering about metric versus Imperial measurements!

Anyway, there was a post on this forum recently calling for “inventions”. Well, here’s my idea, and challenge to all you genius-level guys (and gals) out there. Surely, what we need is a little box (technically known, I believe, as a gizmo), small enough to be fitted easily inside the vast majority of medical equipment (and bolted, glued, or tied-on to the rest) with the following features:-

1) Must be cheap
2) Act as an RFID transmitter
3) Include an accurate real-time clock (with a signal from the new “Rugby”, a central hospital clock, mobile phone network … or whatever, or all of the above)!

When necessary, the clock signal could be brought out to a display on the equipment front panel (etc.).

But, why stop there? We're really talking about time logging here, so why not record hours-on, battery hours run, and all the rest? Shall we include PM logging? A signal sent out when PM is due? A “fix-me” signal? Using the box for asset coding? When you stop and think about it, the possibilities are endless! In Modern Britain, where we have a regime that thinks that all ills can be put right by "technology”, surely we can do our bit? Come on (Richard?), let’s develop a proper spec, then get this thing done, once and for all!

You can call it Geoff’s Little Interactive Box (or GLIB, for short). All I want is 5% of the profits! smile

Last edited by Geoff Hannis; 20/05/07 9:09 AM. Reason: Added some italics.

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Re: Summer / Winter Time [Re: Geoff Hannis] #23505 20/05/07 10:46 AM
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I was thinking more along the lines of an open medical device interface standard, for power, signals and connections to existing form-factor, active RFID, passive RFID devices and wireless, i.e. simply develop existing software and hardware standards, that could be used to address all of the above issues by designers & manufacturers.

Thus allowing purchasers to implement their preferred active RFID, passive RFID, or wireless solution depnding upon the portability, capital cost, or risk (maintenance or medical related), associated with the medical device(s), perhaps.

Time-keeping, self-test diagnostics, event-logging, etc, are already being performed by medical devices although they don't, yet, seem to have a common error-data logging format. RFID tracking that includes storage of service data, test results and asset information is apparently with us for maintenance purposes, as is wireless networking of course.

It's possible that a device can be tracked, transmit diagnostics including current maintenance status and record events whilst maintaining an accurate time standard referenced to some central network time. Possibly not in real-time (depending upon location and RFID/Wireless technology used) but near enough to make it useful to us.

All that's needed to make it realisable is demand for it (for governance/security purposes) and a common standard so that there's commonality both in terms of the medical device software & hardware interfaces to existing/proposed RFID & wireless device(s) and between the RFID & wireless device(s) and the (secure) host network.

This sort of standard can be "thrashed out" by interested experts in healthcare, in the private sector and could be added to the existing open RFID and wireless standards. Personally I'm not an expert and not particularly interested, either, but the technology to do it has been around for a while.

In fact it probably exists, as I've described exactly, somewhere, but instead of an active RFID link it's possibly implemented in wireless format and most definitely using hardwired connections, i.e. existing PC network for non-portable devices. Nothing really novel there then.

The suggestion of an open medical device interface standard for (optional) RFID or wireless "ports", to host such a device, and the actual need to integrate tracking (for security/retrieval purposes), medico-legal (accurate time/event logs) and maintenance (diagnostic/maintenance logs) functions, to make it worthwhile implementing at all, are possibly the only novel thing that's been discussed.

Despite all this "pie in the sky stuff" I still think there's a place for passive RFID for non-active medical devices and other property belonging to the NHS since I regularly hear of lots of it disappearing from our NHS trust, for example. I say keep it simple and reliable, build on top of existing technology, and don't rely too much on complex networks - hence I say RFID - to make it more "economical".

The physical technology or hardware used to implement the suggestions made, as ever, are likely to be the simplest and cheapest. A post in another thread, on uses of RFID, I made a while back, suggested all of these ideas Geoff. Perhaps we could share the 5%, eh?


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