Recently, a Boston-based medical center reported having saved more than $1.5 million thanks to cloud-based inventory management software coupled with an advanced RFID tracking system. Monitoring the status and movement of expensive medical equipment, most of which tends to “float” throughout the hospital during the daily rounds of patient care, has been gaining ground as a realistic means of reducing stressed budgets. Beyond keeping tabs on equipment, RFID saves money in healthcare environments in a few other ways as well:
Overstocking: Hospitals and other medical facilities that experience the frustrating phenomena of “wandering equipment” tend to have more of an issue with overstocking supplies in order to make sure there are extras on hand. Not surprisingly, this can be a significant drain on hospital finances and has actually shown to lead to instances of hoarding on the part of employees. An automated inventory management solution, especially when paired with RFID, eliminates the root causes of overstocking: employees will always know exactly what they have on hand and where it can be located.
Employees: Studies have shown that hospital personnel waste an absurd amount of their shift hunting for needed equipment and supplies, sometimes as much as an hour per work day. These are typically personnel who are already taxed to the limit in terms of their work responsibilities, meaning that even one lost hour per day makes a significant impact on their productivity. Some fairly simple math would also show that medical facilities are likely losing more money in lost employee productivity each year than it would cost to implement an inventory management system to prevent it.
Patient Care – When equipment goes missing or supplies are gone, it is ultimately the patient that suffers. That loss of one hour per day means hospital personnel have 60 fewer minutes to put into caring for their patients. Lacking needed supplies delays care and can cause unnecessary discomfort for the very people the hospital is there to serve. Tracking equipment and supply levels, especially for larger facilities, is vital in order to provide services in a timely and efficient manner. When it comes to peoples’ health and comfort, manual inventory management simply doesn’t provide the level of oversight today’s medical facilities require.