How can we improve management of medical equipment?
CUF is a leading private healthcare operator in Portugal, with nine hospitals, eight clinics, one institute and one PPP hospital. In a very demanding sector, asset management is always a tough challenge.
CUF realised that it was very difficult to monitor medical equipment in its units. One of the issues was asset tracking, which caused problems such as:
- Too much time spent looking for equipment for day-to-day use or for maintenance and audits;
- Too much effort and many errors in inventory processes;
- Lack of information on the rate of use/availability of equipment, which can result in errors in replacements and purchases.
The current SARS-CoV-2 virus (Covid-19) pandemic exacerbated this problem and posed an additional challenge to the solution.
Nextbitt found the solution, which was real-time location systems (RTLS). By attaching bluetooth tags to each piece of equipment and placing readers in each room and in hard-to-reach areas, we can use georeferencing to transmit information in almost real time with an accuracy rate of 30 cm
There are two steps in real-time location. Bluetooth tags are attached to equipment and transmitters are fitted in the facilities’ rooms and corridors. The tags contain the information about the assets on which they are placed - name, type and even the latest interventions. The connection to Nextbitt gives us access to all this information in almost real time.
The main results are:
- Shorter search times for infusion pumps, stretchers and wheelchairs, etc.
- Georeferencing for automatic inventories.
- Analysis of equipment movements to calculate stock and make informed decisions on purchases.
- Alerts when an asset leaves a predetermined area to prevent errors and theft.
- Greater efficiency
- Shorter times
- Less human error
- Cutting costs on unnecessary purchases