In 2016, at least $50,000 worth of equipment stolen from the United Memorial Medical Center surfaced on eBay. The actual damage was estimated to be over $100,000. The hospital also admitted that they hadn’t noticed the missing equipment for over a year.
Medical equipment, clinical supplies and other assets in hospitals are worth millions of dollars. Costly and dangerous delays in care can occur in the absence of an organized method to track and manage hospital assets. With such high stakes, hospital equipment tracking is a necessity for all healthcare centers.
With a huge influx of patients and staff on a daily basis, there is a need for fast emergency responses. With sudden changes in surgery timetables, the operational efficiency of the hospital is at risk. The intervention of a robust hospital equipment tracking system keeps things in order for the hospital, ensuring smooth workflows and limited downtime.
Automate asset management with a hospital equipment tracking system
A hospital equipment tracking system enables medical centers to analyze and accumulate asset data. Not only can this help locate equipment, but it also tracks sterilization or repair histories, automatically sections off assets by department, and automates lifecycle management and maintenance. Manually logged records are prone to errors, but with a hospital equipment tracking system, accuracy becomes an attainable goal.
Healthcare facilities today are under pressure with a greater patient influx and increased expectations for patient satisfaction and experience. To fulfill these rising demands, hospitals need to get rid of redundancies and come up with a more streamlined workflow.
This is because when under pressure, staff members don’t have a lot of time at hand to search for medical equipment like patient monitoring devices or IV pumps. Comprehensive and accurate asset tracking in hospitals helps minimize delays to clinical procedures, enhances patient care and gives management the information they need to identify blockages and promote efficiencies.
Providing health care is a complex job. Whenever hospital managers make a decision, they need to take into account 3 factors: risk, performance and cost. The effective management of assets lets the hospital find the right balance between the three. Below we will highlight some of the major ways the medical sector can streamline with an hospital equipment tracking system, and let order prevail in the chaotic environment of hospitals!
Improvement in staff productivity
At times, nurses or staff members spend a lot of time looking for the equipment they need. They keep wandering the hallways or the central storage space of the hospital that has ventilators, pumps, monitors and other equipment. These assets are valuable for the hospital and are frequently used to save lives which mean the staff should be quickly able to locate and retrieve them as needed.
The time taken to find an item can instead be better spent caring for the patient. With medical asset tracking software, the many hours spent in fruitless searches can be eliminated, and the quality of care can be simultaneously increased. This can be a huge play for hospitals.
Prevention of thefts and inventory shrinkage
In an ideal situation, at any given point in time, the management team should be able to conduct a spot check that confirms that the asset database is in line with the stock present. This helps to eliminate equipment theft, loss and hoarding. A hospital equipment tracking system lets you do just that by making hospital inventory management easier and more accessible. It does this with accurate real-time information, and by allowing multiple staff members to simultaneously update data at one time.
Since an electronic database immediately lets you know what you have in stock, hospitals can prevent the unnecessary over-purchasing of assets. With the knowledge of where the equipment is and who is using it, hospitals can efficiently reallocate assets, make the needed adjustments to inventory, and ensure that each department has the equipment it requires at hand and in the correct quantities.
Better equipment performance
A hospital equipment tracking system enables lifecycle management which helps to keep every piece of equipment serviced and inspected at the right intervals. It automatically cancels out the need for manual record keeping. Most of the asset tracking tools have barcode scanning software in them which can be accessed through the staff’s tablet or smartphone. All it takes is one click to find out all the data regarding a particular asset with options like scheduled low stock alerts, or maintenance reminders on a weekly basis.
In this way, hospital asset management allows administrators to make plans for critical equipment that needs to be assessed regularly for compliance purposes. Audits are extremely easy to carry out with a mobile app, and all of this means that hospital equipment is always ready to be used.
Of course, this means that downtime is reduced significantly, as maintenance schedules can be created and shared with staff well in advance. Hospitals can even chalk out their capital expenditures on the basis of real-time updates on equipment condition rather than guess work by generating overview reports on broad classes of assets.
By minimizing equipment failures and related costs, the hospital is able to gain great operational efficiency. The management can budget maintenance costs and by carefully assessing and planning for the future, they can predict the best time to replace important assets.
Improved sanitation and safety
Managing and preventing the spread of infections and germs in a place like a hospital is surely a challenging task. Hospitals can monitor equipment maintenance, status and sterilization by using an asset tracking solution. This in turn can help to improve records relating to safety and sanitation procedures.
Sterilization is crucial in hospitals, whether it’s the sterile gloves used in surgery or the sterilization of equipment and or small instruments. It helps eliminate microorganisms living on certain surfaces by exposing them to chemicals, dry heat or ionizing radiation.
Therefore, it is essential to keep track of equipment going through these processes to maintain the quality of care and to prevent risking the health of patients who might already be immuno-compromised. Using this software, you can log histories, create work orders around sterilization, and identify areas that need more work. It’s hard to have such an in-depth historical perspective in the absence of real time asset tracking.
Minimized risks for maximum Quality of Life
All the measures taken at a hospital are oriented towards a single purpose: improving the quality of life of the patients. To ensure that patients are given a meaningful service, however, it is imperative that the equipment used in their treatment is in great condition. To achieve this, planned shutdowns of particular sites or equipment is a must to enable hospitals to carry out effective repairs and maintenance.
Patient care needs to be 24/7 – without any compromises. However, at hospitals, there is a minimum required downtime because if an item fails to work, the consequences can be disastrous.
Rather than putting a lot of resources in ensuring low response times for equipment maintenance, a preventive maintenance approach is best for hospitals. Risk to life is minimized by keeping a check on oxygen, power and light systems, and all this can be stringently scheduled ahead of time so as to cause the least amount of inconvenience to staff and patients. You can even choose which items can sub for those undergoing maintenance, and plan for downtime effectively from a centralized space.
The overall experience of patients and visitors is enhanced when inventory is well-stocked, hospital equipment works safely, assets are treated appropriately and downtime is kept as low as possible.
Medical asset tracking software offers hospitals all this and more. It enables the transparency of assets, ensures procedural and regulatory compliance, and cancels out time wastage. Hospitals cannot risk a patient’s life, which is why streamlining hospital asset management will protect equipment and safeguard patients from avoidable risks.
EZOfficeInventory is the leading medical asset tracking software utilized by hospitals and clinics all over the world to improve workflows and increase the quality of patient care! You can try it out by signing up today for a free 15-day trial. For more assistance, drop us an email at email@example.com.