“Medical Equipment Keeps Expiring Before Use: How Can We Improve Visibility Of Expiration Dates?”

According to the Becker Hospital Review,24% of hospital workers have seen or heard of an expired product being used on a patient. Of course, the improper management of hospital equipment has legal and regulatory implications.

Having heard first-hand from paramedics with “less than a few minutes” to manually jot down Ambulatory inventories before the beginning of their shifts, it’s unsurprising that errors are taking place and perishable or condition-critical items are failing to be flagged before expiration.

In this blog, we’ll consider how Care Providers can use technology to improve the visibility of critical equipment and ensure hospital staff have the right tools to manage inventories seamlessly.

1) How Hospital Equipment Is Currently Managed

2) The Benefits Of Adopting RFID Technology

3) A Case Study: East Midlands Ambulance Services

4) How To Adopt Modern Healthcare Solutions

How Hospital Equipment Is Currently Managed

As a result of the Scan4Safety initiative, most hospitals now operate with some level of automation – using barcoding technology within inventory management systems. While barcoding technology does significantly improve the speed and accuracy of inventory management processes, there are still several reasons why hospitals should be looking beyond barcoding technology towards RFID solutions:

– Barcode technology requires manual interventions from hospital staff

– Barcodes cannot be scanned and read without line-of-sight

– Workers must scan items one by one

– Barcode technology only delivers point-in-time visibility of stock

For any facilities still using pen-and-paper inventory management systems, we can quickly help you integrate cost-effective digitised solutions within your existing infrastructure. We encourage you to reach out right away. For hospitals using barcoding technology, it’s worth exploring The Benefits Of Adopting RFID Technology For Inventory Management.

The Benefits Of Adopting RFID Technology

RFID technology enables hospital staff to conduct inventory counts by passing intelligently tagged items through a system of fixed or mobile readers capable of scanning multiple items at any time.

It might take an individual minutes to scan tens of items within an inventory store manually, but with an RFID scanner, all items can be processed within seconds. This means Ambulance staff can automate checks relating to the presence of life-saving equipment and significantly improve the proper usage and management of inventories.n

As an overview, the key benefits of deploying RFID technologies are as follows:

– Automate the entire inventory logging process

– Ensure medication and general asset lifecycles are automatically logged, alerting clinicians when shelf lives are nearing expiry

– Eliminate the need for manual scanning of assets

– Deliver visibility of complete asset journeys (from entry into hospitals, through storeroom movements, to point of care and beyond)

– Locate critical equipment in real-time (to their exact spot within a ward or store)n

Case Study: East Midlands Ambulance Service Uses RFID Technology To Track Critical Equipment

East Midland Ambulance Service (EMAS) employs more than 650 emergency vehicles, each carrying vital equipment such as defibrillators. EMAS adopted an Android-based RFID system to improve equipment monitoring, maintenance and compliance procedures.n

Vision: Like many hospitals, EMAS wanted to find a kit and know it was safe for patient use, having passed all compliance tests. With 650 vehicles across six counties, each carrying vital life-saving equipment, EMAS needed a system to monitor equipment efficiently and effectively while helping the Trust track and improve procedures.n

Solution: EMAS attached RFID tags to critical equipment, which fixed and mobile readers could scan. As these readers could detect markers up to two meters away, information such as serial numbers could be automatically communicated to EMAS’s central database. This system now provides hospital staff with real-time data relating to kit locations and conditions, helping them to manage their life-saving equipment efficiently and effectively

How To Adopt Modern Healthcare Solutions

MiTEQ‘s experts have delivered enterprise mobility solutions to Healthcare operations for decades. We can help you digitise inventory management systems, improve asset visibility, and realise new efficiencies cost-effectively.

Having worked with some of the UK’s top care providers, we look forward to using our experience to add value to many more projects and welcome you to reach out if you have project aspirations that the help and support of our team could better.

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