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Why Not Using Medical Asset Tracking May be Costing You Money

Have you ever looked for scissors or a stapler that you know you purchased, but you just can’t locate it? Eventually, you purchase another one, and get the job done. This process is familiar to all of us, but when you are dealing with medical assets, it can get overwhelming and expensive in a hurry. Buying multiple office supplies is frustrating, but it won’t have much of an impact on your budget.

Buying multiple expensive medical assets can add up in a hurry. Every time you purchase something you don’t need you waste money; that part of your budget could be used on something else. Medical asset tracking helps break the cycle of buying items, then rebuying the same things, simply because you don’t know where the originals are; it can also save you time and money when it comes to running your facility.

5 Reasons you Need Medical Asset Tracking

  • Your providers can’t use what they can’t find: Your providers may need to use a specific piece of equipment or require a bed for a patient or a procedure. If they do not know you already have this item on hand or can’t find it, they may employ a less ideal item, or even order a duplicate of something you already own. Your patient care team should be focused on the right things – treating and assisting patients, not chasing down equipment. Assets that are not properly listed simply won’t be used, and you may end up with more than one of an expensive piece that rarely gets used, just because no one was aware you had the item already.
  • You’re buying duplicates: If you are unable to find assets you own you are likely purchasing multiples of each piece. If you’ve purchased assets and then failed to track them, that expensive piece of equipment could be languishing in a closet somewhere, unused. Meanwhile, you end up ordering another one, simply because no one can put their hands on the items you already own. This process is frustrating and expensive and becomes a never-ending cycle of purchase-lose-repurchase that adds to your budget every year.
  • You have a high theft rate — but don’t know it: If you are not tracking assets, your equipment may be leaving your facility with someone else. If you don’t know what you should have on hand, you have no way to know if items are being stolen by employees or third parties. Medical asset theft can and does happen in just about every facility. If you do not track your items, you’ll never know how much you are losing, and which items are most prone to theft.
  • Small items add up: Your big ticket purchases are more valuable, and therefore (hopefully) more likely to be tracked; at least someone will be aware of where they are. Smaller, more portable items like defibrillators, IV pumps and similar pieces are easily lost and while the individual items may not cost as much as your other assets, if you lose enough of them it will drain your budget considerably.
  • Patient care suffers: When your employees have to look for items or track something down, they use up time that could otherwise be used serving patients. When this happens, patients get less time with a provider and may experience a reduced level of care. Patient satisfaction rates are often tied to attentiveness and wait time, so your overall patient satisfaction rate could drop, something most facilities can’t afford.

Tracking Medical Assets Saves Time, Money and Lives

When you commit to tracking your medical assets, all facets of care and budgeting improve. Your providers can find what they need, when they need it, reducing stress and frustration. Your patients don’t have to wait, improving patient satisfaction; you’ll also spend less money replacing items you already own.

Medical asset tracking uses technology to locate your assets and record their location and disposition. Brands like Aruba use small, bluetooth equipped tracking tags (Aruba Meridian Beacons) to instantly locate equipment in your facility. Tags are small – no larger than a quarter — and can attach easily and discreetly in a number of ways.

Once a tag is attached to an asset and assigned a tracking number, you’ll be able to get your assets under control. A provider who needs a piece of equipment can simply order it from your own supply; support staff can easily find the item and deliver it. This reduces the amount of time providers spend looking for things and also cuts the amount of time patients have to wait for procedures, testing or even for a room in your facility, improving patient outcomes and satisfaction, as well as HCAHPS.

Your own in-house tracking app can be used to identify and locate key pieces; you’ll know exactly what you have on hand in real time. This prevents the costly cycle of ordering an item, losing it, then ordering it again, since you’ll be able to swiftly find the original piece. If you are experiencing losses from theft, tracking tags can let you know where items should be and help you determine where your losses are coming from.

Learning more about medical data management and how medical asset tracking can help you determine if your business could benefit from the improved response times and savings afforded by this technology. If you are tired of looking for pieces, frustrated with ordering things you know you already own or worried about theft, we can help. Get in touch today to learn more about medical asset tracking and what it can do for your facility.

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