With more equipment being brought into healthcare facilities, hospitals, and healthcare facilities are prioritizing real time workstation location tracking (along with tracking other assets, patients, and contact tracing) to provide more efficient, effective, and quality care for patients. RTLS tracking systems for hospitals also promote healthier and happier work environments for hospital staff. In this article, we show you why 2024 will be the year you get the most from your cart’s asset tracking.
1. Higher Demands on IT Departments
With the rise of telehealth demand in recent years, hospital IT departments are working at maximum capacity to ensure patients receive the care they need. However, IT is responsible for more than telehealthcare; they handle all the tech issues within a hospital system, cart asset tracking included.
In the coming years, we expect demand on IT departments to further increase. Hospital administrators must find ways to streamline IT processes so their teams can work efficiently, and effectively avoid burnout. The right RTLS asset tracking programs make keeping up with a hospital’s carts easy. Utilizing an RTLS asset tracking system changes the way IT handles cart management, making these tasks faster and easier to execute.
2. Patient Wait-Time Expectations
Patient expectations continue to rise, and for good reason. Hospital systems have continued to find ways to improve the patient experience starting with their wait times. Computer cart tracking ensures a patient is never waiting because a cart has been misplaced or lost.
Real-time workstation on wheels (WOWs) asset tracking enables nurses and staff to quickly locate their carts. Instead of searching from room to room or across departments, nurses can instantly know the exact location of a cart, enabling them to see patients sooner and cut down on wait times.
3. Relieve Providers and Nursing Staff
Nurse fatigue plagues the healthcare industry. Long hours in a high-stress environment with even higher stakes create the potential for a myriad of physical and mental issues. Exhausted nurses are more likely to make mistakes, which poses risks to patient well-being and hospital accountability. As a result, hospital systems are seeking ways to alleviate and prevent nurse burnout.
Hospital asset tracking reduces fatigue in nursing staff, resulting in better health for them and better outcomes for the patients in their care. Asset tracking reduces the time spent searching for WOWs, locating carts with sufficient battery life, and other time wastage. In healthcare, every minute counts. When nurses don’t have to waste time tracking down WOWs, and other equipment such as feeding pumps and wheelchairs, they have more bandwidth to care for patients and themselves.
4. Real-Time Access to Carts
Knowing each medical cart’s location allows hospitals to provide fast, effective care. Real-time access to mobile carts and workstations is crucial for providers to do their jobs well. Cart asset tracking provides staff within a hospital with real-time updates of cart locations. That means critical equipment is never lost or misplaced with these systems. If and when a patient needs urgent attention, no one is wasting time searching for equipment.
5. Merging of Hospital Systems
Hospital mergers have been on the rise in recent years. Merging hospitals improves efficiency and lowers costs, and implementing cart asset tracking supports those endeavors.
Having an asset tracking system allows hospitals and even entire hospital systems to see the status of their equipment clearly and in real time. Any piece of equipment can be tracked, so each bed, IV cart, or endoscope is able to be found with RTLS.
RTLS hospital tracking also promotes accurate and thorough inventory management, which ultimately results in better patient care and resource conservation. As we see more hospital mergers this year and moving forward, cart asset tracking creates smooth transitions and streamlines workflows.
6. Mobile Carts and Battery Life
A powered mobile cart or workstation is only beneficial if it has sufficient battery life. Computer cart asset tracking enables staff to see when a cart needs to be charged, preventing a dead battery from impeding patient care.
Altus’s RTLS hospital tracking keeps providers and nurses informed of not only where carts are located, but they can know which carts are ready for use and which have been getting underutilized. This on-hand information streamlines patient care and empowers staff to do their jobs without wastage associated with finding a cart that’s fully charged.
7. Focus on the Reduction of Unnecessary Healthcare Costs
Time is money, especially in healthcare. Nurses and providers keep tight schedules to ensure they see the most patients possible during a shift. Each year, the cost of providing and receiving healthcare rises. Effective cart asset tracking aids in cutting healthcare costs, benefitting both hospital systems and those they serve.
Nurses typically spend a significant percentage of their shifts wasting time on tasks that could easily be prevented, including searching for medical carts. An asset tracking program potentially saves hundreds or even thousands of hours per month per hospital. A reduction of time wastage like this equates to a significant reduction in unnecessary healthcare costs. One study found that implementing effective asset tracking could save upwards of $1.2 billion each year.
8. Protecting Expensive Equipment
Hospitals rely more and more on mobile carts and workstations to carry out tasks. Each year, the cost per bed in U.S. hospitals rises. Advancements in care and innovative technology mean patients receive better care than ever, but with that care comes cost.
As hospitals expand and invest in mobile healthcare carts and workstations, tracking their locations and usage data becomes more critical. More carts mean more money on the floors of a hospital. And if there isn’t a central system to track a hospital’s cart assets, this equipment is easily misplaced, lost, or even stolen. As well, if their usage rates aren’t being recorded, it’s easy for carts to be forgotten in corners, or replaced prematurely. Hospital RTLS is a necessary component of a profitable, safe hospital.
Mobile carts and workstations on wheels have revolutionized how hospitals collect and record data and provide patient care. However, hospitals that don’t utilize RTLS asset tracking find that they aren’t getting the most out of their mobile equipment, and untracked cart assets can cause problems for hospital systems.
But when your hospital implements a proven and effective asset tracking program, you reduce errors and cultivate a healthy work environment for your staff. Altus and Intelligent Locations have partnered together to improve the lives of those in healthcare. Together they provide simple yet effective asset tracking to change the game of mobile equipment inventory management.