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Original research
Novel approach to recording theatre utilisation data using Pinpoint: a wearable real-time location services device
  1. Robert Michael O'Connell1,2,
  2. Ishwarya Balasubramanian1,2,
  3. Fionn Barron3,
  4. Chris Kelly3,
  5. Eoin O'Brien3,
  6. Shona Tormey1,2
  1. 1 Perioperative Directorate and Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  2. 2 Graduate Entry Medical School Department of Surgery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
  3. 3 Pinpoint Innovations Ltd, Limerick, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Michael O'Connell, Perioperative Directorate and Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick V94 F858, Ireland; robertmoconnell{at}


Introduction Inefficient theatre utilisation is costly for patients, staff and healthcare organisations. Active management projects have proven effective at identifying and streamlining delays in the perioperative patient journey.

Aim The aim of this study is to assess whether a novel, wearable, autonomous, Wi-Fi-based real-time location services (RTLS) device could be used to accurately record and process theatre utilisation data.

Methods A novel RTLS device was employed in our theatre department between June and September 2017. Data were collected pertaining to time of arrival and departure from the surgical day ward, operating theatre and recovery using this device, and compared with our institution’s existing written record of theatre data.

Results 101 patients were enrolled, but manually recorded data were unavailable on 18 patients. Among the remaining 83 patients, mean difference in recorded start times was 0.43 min (p=0.64). Mean difference in theatre end times was 1.63 min (p=0.41). Mean difference recorded in overall time in theatre was 1.19 min (p=0.59).

Conclusion The RTLS device provided a reliable record of theatre utilisation, without requiring manual input, with potential as a tool to identify and improve inefficiencies in the theatre department.

  • mHealth
  • operating theatre utilitsation
  • wearable devices

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  • Contributors All named authors made substantial contributions to this work, sufficient to meet the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) of appropriate authorship. IB, CK, FB, EO and ST planned the study. CK, FB and EO designed and built the novel Real Time Location Services Device. RMO, IB, CK, FB, and EO collected data. RMO and ST wrote and submitted the manuscript. ST acts as guarantor for the overall content of the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests FB, CK and EO are cofounders of Pinpoint Innovations and have a beneficial ownership interest in the company.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval for this study was granted by the hospital ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article. All data relevant to the study are included in the article.