How to Successfully Implement a Healthcare Asset Management System

Asset management has the power to improve profits and customer satisfaction in a variety of industries, but it takes on an additional degree of importance in healthcare. Without proper oversight of key assets, medical professionals may struggle to provide the timely and attentive service their patients require. This, in turn, could damage not only patient satisfaction, but also long-term health outcomes. Medical asset tracking also reduces the potential for lost and stolen equipment, which currently costs hospitals as much as an annual $4,000 per bed.

At many hospitals and other medical facilities, asset tracking systems remain woefully out of date. Far too many still rely on manual systems, which are notoriously unreliable. This is especially true in fast-paced environments, where staff members may move equipment and forget to update files accordingly. Real-time digital asset tracking, however, maintains an orderly environment, in which each device is accounted for at all times. This dramatically improves efficiency while also maximizing uptime and improving patient response.

Modern asset management systems can prove transformative for healthcare organizations struggling to handle critical devices and equipment. Choosing and implementing such systems, however, can be challenging, as no two organizations hold the exact same maintenance needs or asset strategies. Still, a few key steps can ensure that the best possible asset management solution is selected for your needs — and that this system delivers maximum ROI:

Understand How Healthcare Asset Management Systems Can Meet Key Tracking Needs

Success in asset tracking begins with the selection of a system that is built with each organization’s greatest needs in mind. Prior to choosing the proper solution, it helps to know what, exactly needs to be tracked. Consider key questions like:

  • What items are your staff continually searching for?
  • What objects are imperative to maintain quality of care for your patients?
  • What items seem to go missing if they are not watched? Either my mistake or not…

Key considerations include not only the presence of specific equipment, but also uptime, downtime, and ongoing maintenance needs. Consider a system that can help you identify and track the maintenance schedule so you can maintain your inventory as needed. Ideally, potential asset management systems can be integrated into the daily routines and flow of the facility to increase equipment availability and reduce the costs associated with maintenance and other necessities.

Take Steps to Make New Asset Setup As Easy As Possible For Team Members

New assets consistently enter healthcare facilities. These may represent replacements or upgrades that hold the power to improve patient outcomes. Either way, setup of the device itself and its entry within a real-time management system can create a major headache for team members. Ideally, this process will be as streamlined as possible.

New item entry should be optimized to ensure that all equipment is correctly added to the system. This may be accomplished via asset tags, which can be configured to include names, photos, and even IDs to allow for faster searching in the future. Make sure whatever choice you make fits into your organization…you shouldn’t have to try to put a round peg in a square hole.

Select a Medical Asset Tracking Solution That Provides End-to-End Support

End-to-end support is critical to ensure that assets are properly tracked, utilized, and maintained throughout the entire course of their lifecycle. The best systems will provide thorough support to address varying needs during every stage. This includes everything from initial integration to regular maintenance and even repairs.

  • Mobile Application Integration: Mobile assets are critical in the healthcare industry, where flexibility is increasingly vital to optimizing the flow of patients. Unfortunately, these assets can prove uniquely difficult to track given their constant movement and regular use by various team members. An ideal healthcare asset management system will include mobile integration to ensure that all assets are handled appropriately, regardless of their movement throughout the facility.
  • Real-Time Position Notifications: Asset management solutions should also provide updates in real time to ensure that staff members are consistently aware of each device’s location and status. Instant visibility is key, as are advanced analytics that keep healthcare professionals in the loop to promote greater safety and security. Timing is critical of course, but location also matters. Proximity push notifications alert staff members about recent developments regarding critical assets. These geo-targeted notifications can be sent as soon as employees enter relevant areas within the facility.
  • Access Point Integration: Timely updates are only possible with the effective integration of access points at key locations throughout hospitals and clinics. These essentially act as observers for asset tags, allowing staff members to determine where and how they can access key devices.
  • System Platform Considerations: The platform on which an asset tracking system is based should be effortless to navigate, even among healthcare professionals who typically struggle to adopt new tech solutions. User-friendly platforms should provide not only the breadth of analytics needed to accurately manage a variety of healthcare assets, but also the access required to make updates in real time.
  • Seek Scalable Systems: Scalable solutions are crucial, especially if significant growth is expected in the near future. Within healthcare organizations, mergers and acquisitions happen on a regular basis. Asset management systems should be capable of accurately and efficiently scaling to track a large volume of devices.

Determine Internal Responsibility for Assets

The sheer volume of assets within a healthcare organization can make tracking uniquely difficult, even when dedicated management systems are utilized. To further improve reliability, assign internal responsibility to critical assets. Ways to assign can include their importance to the particular department or location, their value, their sensitivity, compliance requirements, and internal political factors.

Create a Specified Location For Maintenance And Repair

Losses can happen if assets get stuck in maintenance and repair locations. The potential for such losses can be reduced by corralling all assets that require maintenance or repair services within a single location. Once returned to pristine condition, their status can be updated — and they can be distributed to various locations as needed.

Effective asset tracking can pave the path to prolonged technology lifecycles while also keeping associated costs to a minimum. Furthermore, asset tracking promotes better budgeting decisions based on the extent to which key equipment is actually utilized. Together, these attributes can dramatically improve return on investment.

Beyond equipment ROI, asset tracking’s greatest value lies in its power to improve patient health and satisfaction. This approach minimizes the time wasted attempting to find necessary items and, instead, allows team members to pay more attention to the patients who require their assistance. In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, there is no substitute for the advanced tracking systems needed to serve valued patients. Contact Comport’s healthcare experts today to discuss your medical asset tracking needs.

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