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10 Ways Hospital Asset Tracking Helps Prevent Costly Loss of Medical Equipment

Hospitals and healthcare facilities use asset-tracking systems to manage various equipment and gadgets. However, many of these systems are outdated, unreliable, and error-prone, which increases both the time and cost of what should be an efficient process. Inefficient systems lead to financial losses and impact patient care, satisfaction, and employee productivity. The multitude of devices and supplies increases the risk of human error in manual tracking. Delays in locating medical devices result in inventory discrepancies and excess purchasing. Staff burnout and difficulties in accessing supplies further exacerbate the situation. Poor asset tracking can cause bottlenecks and delays in patient care, testing, or bed availability, leading to frustration, stress, and health outcomes. However, implementing a well-designed real-time asset-tracking system can significantly enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve patient care.

In this article, we will explore ten ways hospital asset tracking systems help prevent the costly loss of medical equipment, ultimately enhancing patient care and reducing operational costs.

What Makes Healthcare Asset Tracking Tools Highly Effective in Hospital Settings?

The hospital asset tracking and inventory management systems market is projected to reach $35.16 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.6%. This growth is driven by the pressing need for healthcare facilities to address issues such as medical equipment theft and loss, which often result in excessive spending.

One of the primary reasons behind healthcare facilities’ significant expenditure on assets is the theft or loss of medical equipment. Hospitals increasingly adopt healthcare-specific Asset Tracking Software to mitigate this risk and enhance medical equipment management.

Implementing a dedicated healthcare asset tracking solution for hospitals offers several benefits:

  • Efficient Equipment Location: Staff can swiftly locate medical equipment, streamlining operations and reducing downtime.
  • Cost Savings: Hospitals can reduce procurement costs by minimizing the need to replace lost or stolen equipment.
  • Accurate Data: The system provides precise asset usage and performance data, aiding in informed decision-making.
  • Improved Inventory Management: Hospitals can better manage inventory and ensure accuracy, optimizing resource allocation.
  • Space Optimization: Physical space in waiting rooms and offices is utilized effectively, improving the overall organization and workflow of the facility.

However, managing assets in healthcare environments with vast quantities of equipment poses unique challenges. These challenges include coping with excessive spending and addressing increased patient wait times, highlighting the importance of effective asset management solutions in healthcare settings.

10 Things to Track with RFID Hospital Asset Tracking Solution

With the advent of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, hospitals have found a powerful tool to streamline their asset-tracking processes. From vital medical equipment to sensitive pharmaceuticals, RFID offers a comprehensive solution to monitor and manage hospital assets effectively. Let’s delve into the top 10 assets hospitals can track using RFID technology, revolutionizing their operations and enhancing patient outcomes.

1. Instant Alerts for Equipment in Waste and Laundry

Implementing a room-level asset tracking system in hospitals can help solve the problem of lost equipment, especially in places like waste bins and dirty linen containers. These spots often unintentionally collect expensive medical devices during quick clean-ups between patients. The tracking system can send alerts if tagged equipment ends up in these areas, allowing for quick recovery before it’s too late. This focused method saves time and effort that would otherwise go into searching through bins or dumpsters for lost items. Addressing this challenge enables hospitals to reduce misplaced equipment expenses and enhance operational efficiency and patient care.

2. Solutions for Accidental Patient Theft

Patients inadvertently contribute to healthcare asset losses, often due to misunderstandings or oversight. It’s common for patients to mistakenly believe they should take equipment home for continued treatment or accidentally pack items during discharge. Unlike retail stores, hospitals lack exit detectors or security guards to prevent such incidents. However, with room-level equipment tracking using RTLS (Real-time Location Systems), hospitals have an opportunity to recover lost items. Identifying asset locations before they go missing and cross-referencing with EMRs (Electronic Medical Records) allows staff to take proactive measures to retrieve missing equipment.

3. Deterrent Measures Against Employee Theft

While most hospital employees don’t engage in equipment theft, it does happen because hospital equipment can be sold for money on the secondary market. An RTLS can act as a deterrent by invoking the Hawthorne effect, where people alter their behavior when aware of being monitored. This is similar to how people avoid stealing when they see security measures in stores or houses. Hospitals can deter potential theft of valuable items by informing staff that all equipment is tracked via RTLS.

4. Managing Procurement for Inventory Items

Hospital inventory management encompasses tracking both long-term and disposable goods, requiring tailored procurement strategies to ensure timely replenishment. RFID hospital asset tracking techniques facilitate this process by allowing the creation of inventory modules. Labels affixed to goods establish minimum threshold levels, helping to prevent shortages. When these thresholds are reached, automatic purchase orders are generated, ensuring seamless replenishment. While RFID tags are cost-effective for durable goods, disposable items necessitate a different approach. RFID inlays provide a solution for monitoring goods such as gauze, gloves, and plastic vials. These peel-and-stick solutions are budget-friendly yet reliable, ensuring efficient tracking of disposable inventory.

5. Exploring Multiple Tools for Daily Operations

Streamlining workflows is essential for efficiency, especially when repetitive tasks are involved. Staff members can optimize their time in organizations with similar tools by creating task-specific toolkits. For instance, doctors treating multiple patients with the same ailment can benefit from this approach. RFID hospital asset tracking solutions enable mass actions, allowing staff to check out various pieces of equipment simultaneously. This saves time and enhances organization, particularly during hospital emergencies. By executing structured tasks, staff can improve operational efficiency and ensure timely patient care.

6. Tracking Medicine and Pharmaceuticals for Authentication

RFID tags offer a solution to streamline inventory management and enhance drug authentication in hospitals. By automating inventory counts, staff can eliminate time-consuming manual processes and reduce the risk of human error. Handheld scanners read labels on hospital drugs, updating supply accounts instantly. Moreover, RFID tags provide a reliable method for authenticating medicines and addressing concerns about counterfeit medication. With RFID technology, hospitals can verify the authenticity of drugs, ensuring patient safety and regulatory compliance efficiently.

7. Scheduling Sterilization for Surgical Tools

Maintaining surgical equipment prevents bacterial spread and infections among patients and hospital staff. Implementing a streamlined maintenance routine is essential, and RFID hospital asset tracking solutions offer a valuable tool for this purpose. Hospitals can track when maintenance and sterilization sessions are due by labeling tools with RFID tags. RFID tags also facilitate accurate record-keeping, ensuring that equipment undergoing sterilization is appropriately documented and follows manufacturer-specified care instructions.

8. Recording Patient Data to Improve Accuracy

Tracking patient history is essential for adequate healthcare, enabling doctors to access prescription lists and provide the necessary care. Hospitals can utilize RFID wristbands containing encrypted patient data to trace past medical records, which is particularly beneficial for long-term admissions. This approach is invaluable in emergencies, allowing critical details such as allergies to be readily accessed through the RFID wristbands.

9. Keeping Tabs on Large Hospital Equipment

Asset misplacement, including large equipment like stretchers, is common in hospitals due to inadequate tracking methods. This can impose significant financial burdens on hospitals, especially when replacement costs are high or specialized equipment is involved. Deploying an RFID system provides a straightforward solution for monitoring such assets within hospital premises. A real-time location system enables precise area allocation and continuous supervision of tagged equipment, ensuring efficient asset management and reducing the risk of misplacement.

10. Implementing Security Through User Tags

Hospitals implement security measures to restrict access to certain areas to mitigate the risk of asset loss or damage. RFID-enabled ID cards are issued to authorized personnel, allowing entry through door readers. This system ensures that only designated doctors and staff members can access restricted areas, preventing unauthorized individuals from coming into contact with drugs and equipment that require supervision or authorization for use.

Streamlined Asset Management Simplified With RFID-based Hospital Asset Tracking Solution

RFID asset tracking empowers hospitals to capture precise data on daily operations, facilitating analysis for trend identification and benchmarking of healthcare services. Hospitals can track current consumption patterns by examining asset performance through maintenance and procurement cycles and generating reports to forecast future demands. This data enables the establishment and achievement of yearly goals and objectives, ultimately enhancing hospital efficiency, productivity, and revenue generation. Moreover, access to reliable equipment data ensures that healthcare centers can effectively meet government mandates and compliance regulations.

Optimizing Hospital Asset Management: Lowry Solutions Asset Tracking Solution

Adopting Ultra-high Frequency (UHF) RFID technology offers numerous benefits to hospitals and other healthcare institutions. RFID technology enhances overall business value by providing cost-effective, real-time visibility of assets, improving asset utilization, reducing errors, and increasing operational efficiencies. Healthcare facilities can capitalize on the capabilities of RFID technology by collaborating with a trusted provider such as Lowry Solutions.

With Lowry Solutions, healthcare organizations gain access to a comprehensive suite of RFID solutions personalized to their specific needs. Lowry provides all the tools to seamlessly integrate RFID into existing operations, from RFID asset tracking software to printers and readers. By embracing RFID technology with the help of Lowry Solutions, healthcare facilities can simplify operations, reduce costs, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. Don’t wait to unlock the transformative power of RFID—reach out to Lowry Solutions today and take the first step towards a more efficient and profitable future.

Contact us now for a demo or to discover our RFID solutions designed specifically for your healthcare requirements.

FAQs

Q1: How Do Hospital Asset Tracking Systems Ensure Data Security?
A1: Hospital asset tracking systems ensure data security through encryption protocols, access controls, and regular audits to safeguard sensitive information from unauthorized access or breaches.

Q2: How Does Lowry Solutions’ Asset Tracking Solution Improve Hospital Efficiency?
A2: Lowry Solutions’ asset tracking solution enhances hospital efficiency by providing real-time visibility of assets, reducing search times, minimizing loss or theft, and optimizing asset utilization through streamlined inventory management processes.

Q3: What Types of Equipment Can Be Tracked Using Lowry Solutions’ System?
A3: Lowry Solutions’ system can track various types of hospital equipment, including medical devices, surgical instruments, mobile equipment, IT assets, and supplies such as medications and consumables.

Q4: Is Lowry Solutions’ Asset Tracking Solution Compatible with Existing Hospital Infrastructure?
A4: Yes, Lowry Solutions’ asset tracking solution is designed to integrate seamlessly with existing hospital infrastructure, including RFID readers, Wi-Fi networks, and healthcare information systems, ensuring compatibility and minimal disruption to operations.

Q5: How Can Hospitals Implement Lowry Solutions’ Asset Tracking Solution?
A5: Hospitals can implement Lowry Solutions’ asset tracking solution by conducting an initial assessment of their asset management needs, collaborating with Lowry Solutions to customize the system, deploying RFID tags on assets, configuring RFID readers, and training staff on system use and maintenance.

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