Quality healthcare asset management saves lives
When it comes to COVID, the ability to track and monitor hospital beds, ventilators, and PPE has become crucial to saving lives. Healthcare asset tracking allows healthcare providers to keep track of their equipment, making sure that equipment and medical supplies are readily available. This seemingly minor adjustment means that staff can spend less time seeking the right medical supplies and more time treating the patients in their care. The tech can also monitor the condition of medical equipment, sending immediate alerts in the case of any damage or dysfunction so that it can be replaced timeously.
Asset tracking in healthcare: standard of care for patients
Another important technology that has enabled health services to work more smoothly is the ability to monitor patients in real time and to exchange healthcare information. This information is then used to understand behaviour patterns – allowing professionals to make accurate healthcare-related decisions that ultimately improve the wellbeing of their patients and enables a much faster response in a medical emergency.
The data is used by doctors and pharmacists to understand a patient’s prescription drug history by providing immediate insight into recently used drugs, diseases, symptoms, and treatment methods. A further benefit of this data is the ability to track and analyse the most frequent hospital visits and those who have the highest total cost of care.
One reason why healthcare asset tracking is so important is because valuable assets routinely get lost due to misplacement and misuse. This is both costly and time-consuming. The lack of resource visibility is another reason why asset tracking is necessary. It is estimated that a nurse will spend, on average, twenty minutes per shift searching for equipment. This can lead to a loss of almost £400 000 each year.
By implementing an IoT-enabled wireless tracking system, hospitals and healthcare facilities will have access to data that will help staff to quickly locate their medical instruments, allowing healthcare workers to work much faster, accessing tools and equipment as required.
Theft of medical instruments is another reason why healthcare asset tracking is used. The NHS, for example, loses £13 million worth of hospital equipment each year. In Germany, a recent incident saw almost 50,000 disposable face masks stolen from the logistics centre for Cologne’s medical clinics.
Healthcare asset tracking devices provide much better insight into all the critical mobile assets across facilities than an Excel spreadsheet. From patient beds and wheelchairs to vital pieces of equipment, with smart medical asset management, you can track, monitor and recover your stolen goods much faster. The smart medical asset management solutions from Smarter Technologies Group also provide an SOS service and panic buttons, which send immediate alerts to a mobile device in the event of an emergency.
Improved resource allocation and longevity
Healthcare asset tracking also allows for accurate, precise stock calculations – assisting hospital managers in making better-informed purchasing decisions. By recognising which assets are not being used effectively, hospitals will reduce unnecessary expenditures by phasing out unused pieces of equipment, freeing up financial resources to stock high-demand, vital supplies.
With IoT sensors, the equipment’s condition can also be monitored for any damage or dysfunction so that it can be replaced timeously. For example, a microscope that is properly maintained can last for up to fifteen years, but this lifespan is reduced to only eight years if it is not looked after. Tracking these assets will help to alert you of any preventative maintenance that needs to be carried out, helping to potentially double the lifespan of your assets.
These sensors can also be utilised to ensure medical supplies are kept at optimal storage conditions. By giving hospitals and other healthcare facilities the ability to monitor the temperature and humidity of their pharmaceutical products, it will help to minimise any immediate problems that may arise from temperature fluctuations throughout the supply chain.