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Why Asset Tracking Within Hospitals is Key to Budget Optimization

Blog Post
5 minutes

Hospital systems make the best use of their budgets to provide optimal care for the patients that come through their doors. Within a hospital, every cent counts to ensure day-to-day and long-term operations run smoothly.

Proper asset management plays a critical role in ensuring hospitals not only maintain planned budgets, but it aids in spending reduction and resource conservation. Below we examine how RTLS asset tracking is key to budget optimization and how you can implement a proactive solution to make the most of your hospital’s financial resources.

Reduction in Maintenance Costs

According to a study conducted by Acumen, the value of the global medical maintenance market is expected to reach upwards of $70 million by 2027. Hospital systems conduct two types of maintenance: corrective maintenance and preventative maintenance. RTLS hospital tracking allows hospitals to conduct maintenance more efficiently and effectively, thereby reducing the budget needed for equipment repair and replacement.

Asset tracking helps your IT department keep track of preventative maintenance needs within your system. Equipment checks, partial or total refurbishing, and scheduled repairs can be executed through your asset tracking program. This kind of preventative maintenance saves money in many ways:

  • Decreases equipment downtime
  • Saves energy
  • Increases equipment and employee efficiency
  • Reduces the likelihood of unplanned or unforeseen failure

Healthcare equipment asset tracking allows your team to plan for maintenance instead of creating patterns of emergency or reactive repair. Scheduled preventative and corrective maintenance supported by asset tracking optimizes your maintenance budget, making the most of those designated resources.

Prevent Misplacement and Theft of Hospital Equipment

The WHO estimates between 10 and 20 percent of a hospitals mobile assets are lost or stolen during their productive life

The World Health Organization estimates that between 10% and 20% of a hospital’s mobile assets are lost or stolen during their productive life. This adds up to millions of dollars of loss that could be easily prevented with an asset tracking program.

 In the fast-paced environment of hospital systems, assets, and equipment move from room to room as providers and staff carry out orders for patient care. For any number of reasons, your mobile carts will inevitably, at some point, not be returned to their designated docking station. When that happens, equipment doesn’t get charged, providers and staff waste time searching for carts that aren’t in their assigned location, and your hospital drains time and resources.

In addition to misplacement, theft is common in hospital systems. Without effective asset tracking programs, it’s virtually impossible for hospitals to keep an accurate record of their equipment locations. This makes hospital systems vulnerable to equipment theft.

However, asset tracking solutions allow you to instantly locate your equipment and access real-time data regarding your equipment inventory. Altus’s programs enable you to keep track of your assets, giving you a comprehensive view of your inventory as well as the physical location of the individual items. You can stay abreast of missing equipment, then take the steps required to locate that equipment, replace it, or find the source of the problem. Altus provides the tools needed to prevent loss and theft, enabling you to spend your budget on the equipment you want and not on replacing what’s been taken.

Streamline Asset Use

Hospitals invest significant resources into technology equipment, mobile medical carts, and other assets necessary to operate and provide care. As a result, hospital administration should ensure each asset is being utilized for its intended purposes.

Mobile computer workstations assigned to a specific floor or area of a hospital shouldn’t cross boundaries to be used in other locations within the building or hospital system. When assets travel from floor to floor, they can cross-contaminate hospital areas, increasing the risk of infection for patients. Asset management technology keeps your carts and equipment where they should be, reducing the risk of infection and the spread of germs.

In addition to the safety benefits, your asset management team ensures your equipment is being used as it was intended. Proper equipment utilization extends the life of your assets and ensures your providers and staff have access to the tools they need at the moment they need them.

When your assets are used properly, they last longer. Tracking equipment data empowers you to streamline operations through the correct use of equipment, resulting in long-term savings for your hospital.

Accurate Inventory Management

Tracking your usable inventory, as well as device and equipment life cycles, optimizes your hospital’s equipment budget. Having an optimized equipment budget allows for systems and providers to give patients optimal levels of care. Asset tracking ensures hospitals aren’t needlessly overspending through accurate, updated inventory management.

Asset management enables hospitals to know what equipment they have on hand and how much they have in stock. Additionally, tracking programs provide data regarding projected life cycles of medical assets. Teams reviewing the data can preemptively order equipment as needed without the threat of buying in excess and going over budget.

When evaluating equipment purchases, administrators must consider more than the initial cost of a device. Installation, training, repair, and maintenance factor into the total cost of an asset. With professional asset tracking programs using RTLS technology, hospital leadership can know precise inventory data that allows you to keep track of your assets, associated costs, and predicted timetables for new purchases.