If you’re not familiar with healthcare workflows, you might not immediately put healthcare and asset tracking software together. Differing significantly from other goods and service industries, the healthcare industry is directly responsible for the well-being of its customers. This is why there is a universal demand for operational transparency and high efficiency in hospitals and clinics, leading to the need to devise various methods to improve its clinical processes. A precise inventory management system and asset tracking software is a major boon for healthcare professionals. It entails smooth operations and endorses both time and cost savings. When it’s a matter of life or death, every little helps.
A precise inventory management system and asset tracking software is a major boon for healthcare professionals. It entails smooth operations and endorses both time and cost savings. When it’s a matter of life or death, every little helps.
Not too long ago, the industry had been relying on clipboard-and-pen methods to keep track of its supply and inventory. However, the use of cloud-based asset management software has become increasingly popular owing to countless advantages over traditional management methods. Let’s have a deeper look into what issues healthcare departments face in inventory asset tracking and how cloud-based solution can help cater these problems.
Prioritizing management efforts
Healthcare inventory is generally extensive and consists of a wide variety of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, equipment and devices. Equipment management software for such items must be able to handle very complex data points. This can be quite hectic if done manually; writing down large itemized lists, cross-referenced with cost, location, and custody details is next to impossible using just a pen and paper method, or even a static Excel sheet. The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, before implementing a digital inventory tracking solution, was relying on visual checks, physical counting, and a paper message system to keep track of over 1,300 different items.
“With such a large inventory, it was simply impossible to stay on top of everything and make sure we had exactly what each physician needed ”, says the manager of their Radiology Department. This is why inventory asset tracking software is such a revelation for the healthcare industry, ensuring managers can finally stop being micro-managers.
Hospital inventory must be continuously and meticulously updated; any negligence in this matter can have grave consequences. For example, the consumption of an expired item or the unavailability of a certain drug when it is needed might even lead to serious life risks. All these problems relating to data updates and asset tracking are significantly alleviated while using cloud-based asset management software. Any software worth its salt comes with alert features that enable healthcare centers to know when they’re running low on stock. Arrangements can be made well in advance to discourage shortages, ensuring reliability in healthcare processes.
Avoidance of theft and misplacement
Research shows that equipment worth thousands of dollars is stolen or misplaced per bed every year in hospitals. This is an unfortunate fact as community-run, non-profit hospitals can have tight profit margins which often require these health care centers to be very careful with their budget. A SaaS-based asset tracking software can come in handy here. Since it helps keep track of the entire asset lifecycle, it automatically makes custodians responsible for their actions through asset assignments. This is not just a great budgeting strategy, but also ensures that healthcare professionals have access to equipment as and when it’s needed.
Strict time management
Hospitals and healthcare industries call for strict time management; even a little delay in taking actions can result in serious consequences, like the worsening of a patient’s condition. Healthcare professionals can often spend hours looking for apparatus and equipment before routine checkups. Even operation theaters are not exempt from time management issues. Research shows that a significant amount of time is spent in operation theaters collecting all required equipment, sometimes while a surgery is underway. This gives you a sense of how much time is lost in activities that could easily be streamlined using a robust asset tracking software. The issue can be resolved completely using an equipment tracking app.
The healthcare industry is often thought in altruistic terms. But like other industries, it is a for-profit entity and concerned about revenue and costs. Many smaller hospitals, however, simply don’t have positive profit margins. They struggle to cut costs. McKinsey & Company has estimated that around $10 billion to $14 billion can be saved by the effective management of inventory within the health sector. The traditional paper method is cumbersome and requires a great deal of manual effort. It also exposes the risk of error, which can further inflate costs. Clearly, relying on such methods for a large inventory is not the best idea. A cloud-based asset tracking software not only helps cut costs because of its subscription-based model, but also through its application of best practices – smoothing out workflows and increasing asset ROIs.
Better organization of items
As per the WHO, large healthcare organizations generally do not include small items like stethoscopes and syringes in their inventory as it significantly inflates costs and makes inventory management difficult. A cloud based asset tracking software, on the other hand, can include as many items as possible without worrying about the volume of inventory. These come with features enabling you to arrange items in groups and subgroups, or even being able to create bundled ‘kits’ required for certain medical procedures, for example, to make the process so much quicker. An automated system also comes in handy when you want to take actions on items in bulk, allowing health professionals and administrators to make better use of their time.
Once all the medical equipment and inventory is established within an asset tracking software, no additional work needs to be done! With little effort, one can see equipment trends and asset utilization forecasts, and pull up reports on budgeting, for example, or depreciation analyses. This opens you up to a whole host of predictive and analytical tools, something which just isn’t possible with a flat spreadsheet. This level of analysis, done manually, is both time-consuming and prone to errors. There is therefore the added advantage of accuracy associated with the right medical equipment tracking app.
Here’s a comparison of traditional asset inventory tracking methods with cloud-based asset tracking software:
|Cloud based solutions||On-premise solutions||Clipboard and pen method|
Cloud-based equipment management software provides an efficient solution to a wide array of problems faced by the healthcare industry in managing and tracking their assets. These problems include things like inflated costs, theft, and bad time management. In addition to this, it adds an extra layer of security and provides well-timed reports to evaluate the performance of an organization. EZOfficeInventory includes all these features and more, letting you leverage your assets to ensure smooth workflows for you and your patients.