Healthcare and technology have been going hand in hand for several years. The digitalization of this sector is noticeable at every turn. Telemedicine, IoT devices and training received in virtual reality are attracting huge funding, supporting the development of the industry and improving the quality of healthcare around the world. The ability to locate hospital equipment and staff in real-time is also gaining popularity. How does real-time asset tracking work? Is it beneficial to hospitals?

Why is tracking medical equipment necessary?

Specialized examination equipment, IV-pumps, portable X-ray or ECG machines, wheelchairs – searching around the hospital for the right medical equipment often wastes a lot of staff time that could be spent helping patients.

Misplaced or lost medical equipment is a high cost for hospitals. It is estimated to be as high as $765 billion. This is usually due to poor management practices. For example, according to a report by Santa Clara Medical Center in the US, 383 medical supplies and equipment went missing, including incubators, heart monitors and mammography machines. The study found that ineffective inventory and lack of a monitoring system were the reasons for the loss of medical equipment.

What’s more, according to data published by The Detroit News, nursing staff spend an average of 1 week a month searching for equipment that disappears from facilities. All this generates huge costs, disrupts work and increases patient waiting times. These situations can be avoided with an asset tracking system.

How to track assets in hospitals

Recording resources manually in spreadsheets is time-consuming and prone to human error. These activities can be automated thanks to new technologies, in particular, the Internet of Things (IoT) and RTLS (Real-Time Locating Systems), which use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags. As a result, tagged assets can be easily tracked. Notably, the homing signals from the asset tags pass through walls and any other barriers without interfering with other wireless communications or the operation of medical equipment. This way, those with authority know in real-time which room, on which floor, the medical equipment they need is located. All they have to do is check the data on their Android or iOS phone or tablet. The asset register can be presented as maps, lists or other formats. The asset tracking system can also send notifications to staff regarding, for example, the need to maintain medical equipment.

Discover the benefits of implementing asset tracking systems in your hospital

RTLS systems improve the operations of medical facilities because:

  • they reduce costs – medical staff know where the equipment they need is, they don’t have to maintain an inventory manually, which saves them time and allows them to better care for patients
  • RTLS systems are efficient due to minimal installed infrastructure, durable and maintenance-free tags
  • real-time asset tracking systems improve workflow
  • RTLS systems increase patient satisfaction and streamline the treatment process

Please schedule an appointment with our RTLS specialist today and learn about a dedicated solution for your hospital!