10 Benefits of Healthcare Asset Tracking in Hospitals in 2023
By The Altus Team
Published Dec 21, 2022
| Updated Nov 14, 2023
| 5 min read
Every decision made by hospital systems should promote patient well-being and better patient outcomes. Choosing to implement RTLS asset tracking streamlines hospital operations, allows nurses and providers to work more efficiently, and increases the level of care a hospital provides.
When looking to implement a new RTLS system in your facility, the biggest question is the benefits. We explain the top ten benefits of healthcare asset tracking and how tracking hospital carts can improve your hospital’s care and efficiency below.
1. Patient Prioritization
Improving patient experiences and outcomes is at the heart of every excellent healthcare system. By using tracking devices for hospital equipment, you’re cutting down on wait times, promoting more efficient and accurate data entry, and providing patients with the level of care they want and deserve.
Tracking your cart's uses, locations, and even maintenance needs allow you to address equipment issues before they arise, keeping patients the focus of all you do.
2. Shorter Patient Wait Times
RTLS hospital tracking ensures you keep patient wait times to a minimum. Knowing where your equipment is eliminates the need for staff to spend valuable time going from room to room searching for medical carts. Nurses can collect intake information sooner, and patients receive care faster.
3. Accurate Equipment Location
Staff roll their mobile carts from room to room to gather patient data and carry out orders. In the high-speed environment of a hospital, it’s expected that, on occasion, a cart might not make it back to its assigned docking station. This is where cart RTLS hospital tracking becomes especially helpful.
By implementing cart asset tracking in a hospital, staff can instantly locate misplaced or missing carts. Tracking reduces theft and loss of a hospital’s mobile assets. In turn, hospitals spend less money on equipment replacement and spend less time searching for lost carts.
4. Monitor Cart Availability
Hospitals must have adequate space and equipment to provide patient care. Cart tracking provides data that informs hospital staff how many patients they can safely and effectively see daily.
Healthcare cart tracking enables providers to see patients in the most efficient manner possible. RTLS asset tracking helps hospital staff understand their capacity to see patients. Location software and capacity management software combine to determine how many patients a hospital can treat as well as predict patient wait times.
Monitoring cart availability encompasses more than simply knowing where your assets are. Keeping track of this equipment sets up hospitals to know how many patients can be seen simultaneously, enabling staff to provide better treatment for individuals in their care.
5. Ensure Accurate Equipment Usage
Hospitals invest many financial resources into healthcare and telehealth carts. As a result, hospital administration wants to ensure every cart is being utilized appropriately. Healthcare asset tracking helps hospital staff gain a clear picture of when, where, and even how their medical carts are used. Having this information enables staff to make decisions that promote accurate cart usage.
6. Quick Cart Identification
Having the flexibility of a mobile cart is a huge benefit for hospitals. They can spend less on equipment because workstations roll from room to room. But once they’re done being used, staff must park the workstation on wheels somewhere. The chosen place may not always be the same spot, as the nurse could park it in the most convenient location for them at that moment, and quickly forget. Tracking devices for hospital equipment ensures instant quick identification of these mobile workstation locations.
Knowing how many carts are in a facility helps staff understand their equipment needs. Having the location of every medical cart not only keeps the equipment where they belong instead of hidden corners or different floors but also enables hospitals to not over-purchase.
7. System-Wide Data Sharing
RTLS asset tracking proves to be a valuable tool for hospitals. Facilities keep track of their healthcare carts and their usage, and with RTLS I.T. team can compile the data and share it with their entire facility. This data can help serve patients more effectively and efficiently.
But it’s not only individual hospitals that benefit from tracking computer carts. Entire hospital systems can access and read the data from their individual facilities to understand what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to change for their system to run smoothly.
Hospital systems can compare data between their facilities to understand how to use their carts to create better outcomes for patients and reduce spending for the organization.
8. Thorough Hospital Inventory Management
Healthcare asset tracking is the most effective way to manage hospital inventory. The data updates in real-time and can be read by individuals across the hospital system, so everyone has access to the same inventory information. The distribution of data allows hospital decision-makers to see where facilities are succeeding with their inventory management and where others need help.
Managing your hospital’s equipment inventory through asset tracking eliminates human error. RTLS systems know what inventory is in the hospital, which items need maintenance or repaid, as well as other metrics that help administration make decisions regarding cart inventory.
9. Maintenance and Sanitizing Scheduling
Because modern mobile healthcare carts move from room to room, they must be frequently sterilized to avoid spreading infections to patients. Hospital carts can become hotbeds of cross-contamination if not regularly cleaned. RTLS asset tracking enables hospital staff to keep mobile workstations in working order, sanitized, and ready for use.
In addition to keeping the carts sanitized to avoid infection, asset tracking allows you to set up a maintenance schedule for your hospital carts. You can track maintenance schedules in real-time, get notified when a cart needs repair, and even check maintenance history. Keeping workstations in perfect order ensures your staff is able to work without experiencing an unexpected equipment shortage in the middle of their shift.
10. Predictive Maintenance
In addition to organizing scheduled maintenance, cart asset tracking enables predictive maintenance. Devices can track how your carts are performing and alert staff if the equipment has any issues. This allows hospital staff to make repairs before the equipment no longer works and needs replacing.
Asset tracking makes predictive maintenance possible, which saves hospital systems money and allows nurses and providers to work efficiently with the equipment they need to provide the best care possible.
RTLS asset tracking keeps hospital staff knowledgeable of their equipment location and usage. But it’s so much more than that. Healthcare asset tracking can improve the operations of a hospital and result in better patient care –– and outcomes. As healthcare cart asset tracking continues to expand, we will see more hospital systems implement these programs to innovate operations. Contact Altus to learn how you can implement RTLS hospital tracking in your hospital today.