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RTLS Pilot Implementation Communication January 20, 2013

Posted by Russ Arnett in Projects and Risks, RTLS - Hospital Application, Universal Risks.
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We are at the point of needing to communicate to all levels about what this process will be.

I believe that this is a hospital monetary and productivity increase system and as such that the Senior Management should communicate to the staff population.

I am preparing a draft and will submit next week.


Risk – current flu season! January 14, 2013

Posted by Russ Arnett in Basic Risks, Projects and Risks, Universal Risks.
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Did you allow for this issue in your project plan?  What was you contingency for time slippage?
Most of the time having a 15% allowance is very comfortable – but now the additional factors that are a threat to the schedule is global in nature.
If you have not negotiated an extension you better get your game face on and lay out all of the various factors!

RTLS Pilot Testing Started January 12, 2013

Posted by Russ Arnett in Uncategorized.
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Real Time Location System – Major undertaking for hospital and will be a productivity booster for the clinical staff and provide savings on Bio-Medical assets. This implementation process has been a great exercize in team work and innovation.

RTLS- Asset Tracking Hospital December 13, 2012

Posted by Russ Arnett in RTLS - Hospital Application.
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We are finaly at the stage of preparing for “Pilot Testing”.  The major underlying infrastructre has been completed, cable, switches and VLAN – port requirements.  This system relies on having collectors and beacons installed and activiated.  The collectors have all been installed – but the beacons are at about 20% because of the need to obtain access to both the patient rooms and surgury operating areas.   Both of these areas require strict infection control proceures – as well as in any occupied patient rooms, permission from the patient as well.

This is a system that is “owned” by the Bio-Medical department – and is fully supported and maintained by the vendor.  My approach is that from the ultimate daily user it is an IT system – (after all you use a computer!) and any issues or problems will be addressed to two areas – Applications and/or the Service desk.  So it is critcal that both of these areas are current and in tune of where the project is in the cycle – as well as the potential impact that it may have.

My inital area within the IT area is the security group, because of the need to control user access and role assignment, as well as all related procedures it that area.  I will provide updates later as we progress, and I welcome your comments and questions.

Current status 1/12/2013.

During the Pilot Evaulation Survey – I discovered that there was many low end pC’s (400) of which several (200+) may need to be used as the devices to view the flow of the assets through the hospital.  We have set up a testing lab and will start a series of tests next week.  The application does provide graphical processes so memory may be the main issue.  Also as we all know new challenges have came up – one of which is the use of tablets for this applications – if the tablet can use “Flash” them no problem – if not well…

RTLS – Implementation Started October 15, 2012

Posted by Russ Arnett in RTLS - Hospital Application.
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TeleTracking is the selected vendor – and they are a professional and knowledgeable vendor!  The basics have been completed which was to:

  • Identify and obtain the required server hardware – this system can use virtual server
  • Validate the technical requirements – great documentation that can be shared as needed with end-users
  • Obtain storage area for TeleTracking devices
  • Convert the Assets into spreadsheet format from the in-house Asset Tracking System (AIMS)

The next steps will to provide training on how to tag the various devices and do some actual activites with the hospital group so they understand and can fully participate.

While the above is in progress, the cable vendor is working its way through the hospital:

  • Installing cable
  • Installing Beacons
  • Installing Collectors

The installation activities will go through December, but as a section is completed, TeleTracking will do remote diagnostics to vallidate connectivity and equipment functioning.

A specific pilot is planned for the week of 10/22 – dependent on the capability of TeleTracking having the access to install a database instance on the hospitals server – (more later)

The project team so far has been working well together and all aspects of the project is meeting schedule and cost budgets.

RTLS – Actually Started September 9, 2012

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Well we have actually started the project – we had a technical kick-off during the middle of August and I am secure in the feeling that the technical team is very impressive as far as the hospital.  On the vendor side, they have not been very impressive.  Some disturbing feed back on some of the other in flight projects has been negative and I have been asked to do some investigative work about the sizing they have provided for hardware requirements. (more on this later)

Because of infectious disease issues that could be caused by any disruption to overheads or internal walls – training for sub-contractors will be required, and as these types of installations will also cause continous monitoring for both patient and contractors as well.

Currently the servers (virtual) are under construction and are expected to be complete by the end of next week.  The setup and installation of system software will occur remotely after the hardware setup has been completed.

RTLS – Implementation to start August 7, 2012

Posted by Russ Arnett in Projects and Risks.
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We did just have a internal stratagey meeting to discuss the needs and basic requirements as the support team.  Meetings have been idenhat with the vendor who will be leading us through this process over the next two weeks before the offical kick-off with the business users.

Issues that are lurking just on this short meeting:

– Server size, the presented requirements are larger than the local tech person belives are required

– Installation of cable and RTLS equipment – the vendor wants to use a local vendor that the customer uses to install all cable and equipment, the local staff I know will be against this.

So this will become a project with several low level – emotional – types of issues.  So we will see who the grown ups are


System Selection April 6, 2012

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I have been selected to manage a project to select the Enterprise RTLS (Real Time Location System) system that will be the future foundation for all equipment, staff and precious metal tracking for a very large privately owned company.  This company has already installed some processes that use three different vendors that supply application software that interfaces with “partner RTLS hardware”.  Each of these systems were selected by the departments independently without any input, direction or analysis by the Information Systems group,

In this series I will review my discoveries, initial approach, changes in direction (if any (hah)) and development of a vendor selection ranking process.

Some interesting issues to get resolved:

  • What is part that the disappearing IT department will be playing?
  • Vendor, vendor, and vendor – who is the best of the bunch for the enterprise, or is it some new vendor
  • What is the budget and who controls the strings and of course – commitment?

Well – they contracted with me so there is commitment – at least to my base requirement for a minimum of 160 hours to get this process in place.   Stay Tuned



Vendor Frustration – Updated March 18, 2012

Posted by Russ Arnett in Projects and Risks.
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Earlier Post –

” So – how bad can it get?  The customer is willing to wait for our vendor to get a Project Manager assigned, but when informed that the required resources to support this project will now not be available until the middle of March – (perhaps) they were understandably upset.  To understand this issue, the resources are a combination of employees and contracted help – all of who have many assignments and are considered fully loaded at 24 hours for any new process – projects assigned.  They as you can assume also have production support requirements.

Also to consider – this is a fiscal year budgeted project – and yes the fiscal year ends 6/30, which means that several approval steps may now be required unless the vendor can step up and do more than they have indicated.

Well as you can see there are now several issues and the risk level of several processes will also become issues that upper management will need to address and provide some insights and direction for the actions that are required to take place.”

UPDATE: ———————————————————————–

Well – as it turns out – and correctly this time!  The original vendor who had the contract “in the bag” – and I am sure already spent the commission – was really the main reason of the delay to get the project going has had future dealing placed on hold until the vendors participation can be reviewed and validated at the end of the project. We are talking about several millions of dollars in future requirements and sales of equipment that this vendor has placed in jeopardy.  This evaluation will be done by the executive and business sponsor at the local site – There is always more to the story – but I need to take care on how I report this on my blog – but updates will be provided over the next few months.

New Assignment – Part 2 March 18, 2012

Posted by Russ Arnett in Projects and Risks.
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From planning to implementation – in two days – because of motivation and cooperation!

So here is the update on this project –  “Real -time Clinical Surveillance” implementation project”.   As discussed in the earlier post –  the term implementation did not really imply that all of the planning steps had been completed – or even started.  I pulled in the standard PMI planning documents and started the process by reviewing the Charter and updating it adding a missing requirement – “Scope” which covered the requirements to  replace, upgrade, implement both the processing hardware as well as the human component – work flow, process flow and information controls.   The staff that was assigned were all IT folks and no representation from the user group.  After a “needs” explanation to both the Executive and Business sponsors – three full time business users were assigned.

This was the most motivated group that I have ever worked with – everyone was cooperative, hard working, willing to do the required and appropriate documentation and wanted to get this system live as soon as possible – serving the patients was critical to the full project team.  All team members put in a average of 14 hours a day – which is usual –  because it was both the business team members as well as the IT folks!

Because the operational environment is mature and the users are well versed on the current operations and requirements – assignment of responsibilities was straight forward and accepted quickly by both the business and technical team members.  Quick development of the “process flow” showing the interactions and relationships to other systems, departments and individuals within and without the organization was completed and approved by the sponsors and other assigned management sources.

Activities completed during the first week:

  1. Clarity of hardware to be replaced – and orders placed and fulfilled from local vendors
  2. All system interfaces were clearly identified and required programming assigned to “off shore” resources
  3. All departmental interactions were identified and department management reviewed and approved as required
  4. Work flow was brought up to date – and some additional processes identified and documented
  5. Vendor technical team was top notch and provided clear instructions as well as worked side by side with the local technical team
  6. Vendor provided both WEB based training as well as on-site hands on training for the identified in-house “trainers”
  7. Go-Live with pilot process identified, staff assigned, and recovery requirements identified

Since this will be a “browser based” application – security will be a very important component of the implementation and is under very close review.  The pilot process started last Monday is to run for the next two weeks – I have handed this off to a local PM who will handle the final processes required for the move into production.

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