- Having the right asset at the right place at the right time in a hospital can be a matter of life or death. Additionally, the care and feeding (i.e. maintenance) of those assets is paramount in order to ensure that assets are available when needed.
- Failure to keep track of expensive diagnostic equipment and surgical instruments can be costly, as well as disruptive and potentially dangerous, if such items are not available when needed for a critical medical procedure.
- Portable machines, equipment and instruments required for patient care may not be in the appropriate physical location (wrong building, wrong floor, wrong ER, etc.). Such items, due to their portability, are particularly subject to loss, theft or disappearance.
- Shared assets are often “hoarded” because of the difficulty of finding them when needed, which often leads to either shortages of assets or over-provisioning.
- Equipment maintenance requirements are unknown or undocumented.
- Serial numbers may be transposed or misread, resulting in improper maintenance procedures being associated with equipment or significant delays in performing maintenance or repairs.
- Identifying and locating the technician qualified to perform maintenance or repairs is difficult.
- Tagging more valuable assets provides information about their whereabouts, usability, availability, status and so forth. Assets can be identified and located well in advance of when they are needed – in the ER, in a lab, in a patient’s room – and scheduled accordingly. Tagging reusable assets such as wheelchairs, carts, oxygen tanks and maintenance tools is one of the easiest ways for companies to test RFID in a closed loop environment.
- For maintenance purposes, serial numbers, maintenance requirements and procedures can be systematically associated with the proper piece of equipment through the use of RFID tags and readers.
- Qualifications, certifications and experience levels can be systematically associated with personnel badges such that access authorization is only granted to those qualified to perform the work. The location of technicians can be known and monitored such that they can be found quickly and mobilized to the spot where maintenance or repairs need to be made.
- Improved asset availability and utilization, reduced associated costs.
- No need for “hoarding” to ensure availability; reduced over-provision produces hard dollar savings.
- Improved operational efficiency, greater reliability for processes and procedures involving tagged assets, less wasted time and effort in “search & find” activities.
- Reduced down-time associated with uncertain or improper maintenance procedures, unauthorized technicians or the inability to locate a qualified technician in a timely manner.