Why healthcare asset tracking is becoming a non-negotiable investment
This year, the healthcare sector has faced enormous pressure. The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 created an unprecedented demand for medical supplies, such as PPE, and the need for effective healthcare asset tracking, asset management and resource utilisation became a vital component in the fight against this devastating virus.
Despite this sudden increase in demand, it is not new for hospitals and other care facilities to invest in healthcare asset tracking systems.
As medical treatments become increasingly sophisticated, it is no wonder that the amount of specialised equipment, medications and instruments used by hospitals and healthcare facilities continues to grow significantly. The cost of these items can also be astronomical; often, they cannot be easily replaced, making the ability to track and manage this kind of equipment especially appealing.
Not only have manual record-keeping approaches been found to be unnecessarily labour-intensive, but they can leave hospitals and healthcare facilities open to human error – which can have fatal consequences.
With this in mind, ensuring that patients have immediate access to medical supplies is crucial to providing quality care. Putting a system in place to optimise the use of resources and improve the productivity of healthcare workers not only augments the quality of care provided but also helps to facilitate a much faster response when emergencies arise.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why asset tracking is becoming a non-negotiable investment for the healthcare industry.
1. Improved productivity
One of the main reasons 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, such as Smarter Technologies’ smart medical asset management solutions, hospitals 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.
2. Reduced theft
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 have a much better insight into all the critical mobile assets across facilities than an excel spreadsheet can. From patient beds and wheelchairs to defibrillators, ventilators and other vital pieces of equipment, with smart medical asset management, you can track, monitor and recover your stolen goods much faster. Smarter Technologies’ smart medical asset management solutions also provide an SOS service and panic buttons, which send immediate alerts to a mobile device in the event of an emergency.
3. Improved resource allocation and longevity
Healthcare asset tracking will also allow your business to take accurate 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 continuously monitor the temperature and humidity of their pharmaceutical products, it will help to minimise any immediate problems that may arise if there are issues with the building’s HVAC system.
Without healthcare asset tracking, hospitals risk not only losing and wasting critical resources, but they could also be putting their patient’s health in danger. Smarter Technologies’ smart medical asset management solutions create revolutionary asset management and security solutions; designed to prolong the healthcare asset lifecycle, save time, money and ultimately lives.