patient sitting in hospital room in wheelchair next to hospital bed

Exploring the Key Benefits of a SaaS-Based Hospital RTLS

Imagine this scenario: Hospital A wants to achieve savings through asset-management efficiencies. It spends millions of dollars to install an expensive real-time location system (RTLS) that promises to deliver a healthy return on investment (ROI). But after the go-live date, Hospital A realizes the system is not delivering the returns it promised, and the maintenance cost is significantly higher than what they budgeted for. The ROI does not materialize, and Hospital A ends up shutting the system down with nothing to show for its investment.

This is a hypothetical situation, but it plays out frequently among the nation’s hospitals and health care systems. It’s rare to find a legacy, capital based RTLS that delivers ROI at all, much less over a short time span.

But there is an alternative: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based RTLS.

SaaS refers to a licensing or distribution model in which software or applications are hosted in the cloud and made available to users through a subscription. SaaS products are available via the internet and can be accessed by computers and other mobile devices. Netflix and Microsoft Office are two examples of SaaS products.

Traditionally, RTLS systems have been capital-based systems, meaning hospitals and health care systems must foot the very large up-front bill for all the infrastructure and its installation. Cognosos takes a different approach, providing asset tracking through a SaaS model with a much lighter footprint. Advantages of an RTLS via a SaaS model include leverage with your vendor, no infrastructure-specific cost or maintenance responsibilities, and a fast path to ROI.

A SaaS model offers leverage with your vendor 

When you pay a big sum for an RTLS system up-front, there is little incentive for the vendor to provide support for the system at the level you may need. It’s frustratingly common for hospitals and health care systems to spend millions of dollars up-front to install a capital-based RTLS only to receive less-than-satisfactory performance from the system and the vendor.

When this happens, customers face a choice: spend more time and money for the vendor to fix the system or absorb the already-spent installation costs. In a SaaS model, however, customers pay the vendor as they realize the benefit, so it’s in the vendor’s interest to do whatever is in their power to deliver ROI.

No infrastructure-specific cost or maintenance responsibilities

The “product” you’re purchasing in a SaaS RTLS is a service, not a physical object. To deliver that service, vendors need to install and maintain the supportive infrastructure. But that equipment—from beacons to internet gateways to tags to batteries—is owned by the SaaS provider, not the hospital or health care organization. If the battery in a tag dies or a beacon stops pinging, the vendor is responsible for replacing it. This not only reduces the up-front cost of installation but also relieves the customer of the burden of servicing equipment throughout the facility’s footprint.

A quicker path to ROI 

A SaaS RTLS does not require an enormous capital investment. That means hospitals and health care systems usually don’t need to wait for budget cycles to gain approval for the spend, and they typically don’t start from an underwater position.

Also, a SaaS RTLS runs on lightweight infrastructure, so it can be installed and running within weeks, not months. These factors combined give a SaaS RTLS a time-to-ROI that’s significantly shorter than capital-heavy legacy competitors. Although customers do make continuous “subscription” payments to operate a SaaS RTLS, the system generates value for the hospital or health care system at the same time.

Making an educated choice about SaaS RTLS

Some vendors advertise a SaaS RTLS option but hide the real capital costs of their systems. To ensure a vendor truly offers a SaaS RTLS that also provides the room-level accuracy you need, it’s important to ask for answers to these questions:

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then consider it a red flag and a reason to compare. With Cognosos’ SaaS-based RTLS, the answer to each of these questions is yes. To learn more, please contact us today for a conversation about how we can deliver room-level accuracy and one of the industry’s fastest paths to ROI for your hospital or healthcare system.

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