Inventory and Asset Tracking in Healthcare
If you manage a healthcare facility, you certainly understand the need for being able to track all your assets, whether equipment, furnishings, or consumables. Our RMS Omega specialists also recognize how inadequate tracking systems can adversely affect patient care both immediately and in the long term.
Hospital equipment ranges from basic wheelchairs and IV stands to sophisticated imaging machines and laboratory equipment. Such assets have to be tracked both to maintain an efficient workflow and the ability to respond immediately to an emergency. For example, with information entered into a centralized database, hospital staff can quickly locate a wheelchair to take a patient to physiotherapy or an emergency room. Furthermore, a doctor can order a portable X-ray or specific equipment in crisis situations that require rapid response. As long as the items are barcoded and scanned, they can be found when needed.
Of course, there is more to asset tracking than an item’s location. You can customize your healthcare barcode technology to support whatever information you need both to monitor your day-to-day operations and to plan purchases and budgets. All equipment can be described in detail from size, vendor, and manufacturer to service history, maintenance schedule, usage history, and users.
You use an incredible range of consumable supplies in your hospital from toilet cleansers and dressings to bags of blood and medical labels. More importantly, these consumable items can get used up rather quickly. Barcode technology allows you to keep track of the level of your inventory. However, RFID for asset tracking can automate inventory counts. Due to the rate that hospitals go through consumable items, it is vital to have a solution that accurately and responsively tracks and monitors inventory levels. After all, shortages could be life-threatening, while having too many of an item can be costly to store and have a negative impact on your cash flow.
For the sake of the patient and staff safety, there can be no compromises in either the number or quality of such supplies. Even cleaning products must meet a certain standard. All these stringent requirements mean that careful purchasing and accurate tracking of supplies are added challenges for you as the administrator. As a result, it is important that you have a solution that helps meet these requirements while ultimately delivering better patient care.
Barcoding & RFID Technology as the Solution
In order to keep track of the healthcare facility’s equipment and supplies, most operators recognize the usefulness of barcoding and RFID technology. Every piece of equipment and every package of supplies that comes into the facility are labeled with whatever information you decide is important for you and your managers to monitor its usage. Scanners or readers capture the data for a central database. It can be accessed on a permission basis by staff who need to know the location, condition, and availability of goods.
The components of a successful solution include:
- Barcode & RFID labels encoded with all the information you decide you need about the items
- Printer for the labels, either desktop or mobile, direct thermal or thermal transfer
- Scanners which are usually wireless and often provide the function of a mobile computer
- Inventory or asset tracking software applications
There is an extensive array of products from which to choose. Our specialists have more than 17 years of corporate experience to draw on and are well trained to walk you through a selection process including:
- Review of your particular healthcare operations
- Identify your specific needs for barcode technology
- Develop a shortlist of software and hardware products
- Discuss the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision
- Coordinate the installation, training and ongoing support services
The RMS Omega Solution
Our total solutions are comprised of hardware, printers, media, software and services. Deciding which of the components works best for your operation and environment may require the assistance of our Solutions Consultants. Contact us and together we’ll assure your organization a successful barcoding / RFID project. Below are some recommended components for inventory and asset management in the hospital.