Shifting from Asset Tracking to Asset Management

hospital-asset-managementTraditionally, RFID projects in the asset realm have been focused on asset tracking – they can tell you where an item is. It’s an operational function that exists separately from the use, optimization, or value of the actual item. But there are ways to use RFID data at a higher level, to enable true asset management.

In manufacturing, RFID systems are often used to track tools, equipment, machinery, bins/totes, and other items. In a hospital, the technology has been similarly used to track wheelchairs, IV pumps, beds, and other equipment. RFID’s value lies in reducing the number of labor hours spent searching for assets. In some cases, the RFID system is married to an employee ID and check-in/check-out process so that companies not only know where an item is, but who has it.

Providing true asset management functionality

But strictly focusing on location means that companies are leaving a significant amount of value on the table. RFID can provide location data, but it can also be integrated with other technology and systems to accelerate the return on investment (ROI) for RFID, and also create numerous new value opportunities for companies by enabling true asset management functionality.

This transition requires analytics tools that can examine the location data and turn it into usable business intelligence. This usable data can be opened up to stakeholders outside of operations or facilities management – finance, compliance, auditing, etc., as actionable data for true decisioning. Continue reading

RFID Can Improve Perioperative Care

Surgical Tools On Stand With Doctors Operating Patient Perioperative care presents a broad set of challenges when it comes to patient safety and provider efficiency before, during, and after surgery. Technology can help hospitals improve their chances of efficiently processing patients in the safest way possible through all phases of surgery. RFID, in particular, can play a significant role in both operating room productivity and patient safety.

Surgeries involve a number of complex variables, including multi-member surgical teams; a large array of supplies, instruments, and implants; and stringent sterilization and safety requirements. Complicating matters, perioperative clinicians and staff are often not directly familiar with surgical patients. This lack of familiarity and knowledge can lead to errors as patient misidentification, miscommunication of the planned procedure, and omission of known allergies or antibiotics. Patient hand-offs or transfers between teams can lead to even more potential confusion.

RFID can play an important role in improving perioperative care.

Using passive RFID tags on equipment such as beds, wheelchairs, IV pumps, and other items, hospitals can coordinate asset management technology with bar code patient wristbands to ensure the right patient is headed toward the correct operating room.

Using RFID on surgical instruments, kits and other equipment, staff can confirm that all the necessary supplies are present for each surgery before the patient arrives. Use of those tools can be monitored during surgery. Afterward, all tools and supplies can be accounted for via a quick scan with an RFID reader. This not only protects the hospital’s assets, but also helps prevent accidents such as leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient.

Post-surgery, hospitals can track and document all disposal or sterilization processes, which can help reduce the risk of infection. Continue reading

The ROI of RFID for Managing Surgical Instruments

RFID-ROIMore hospitals are turning to RFID to track surgical instruments and other medical equipment in order to manage inventory, reduce labor and improve patient safety by ensuring each instrument is accounted for and properly sterilized.

We recently wrote about the Regional Specialty Hospital of Ixtapaluca in Mexico, which is using Xerafy’s XS and XXS autoclavable RFID tags in a pilot program. Eventually, the hospital will track as many as 11,000 instruments this way. Rigshospitalet Copenhagen became the first hospital in the world to pilot UHF RFID tags for surgical instrument tracking in 2013, and Charité CFM Facility Management in Berlin is using Xerafy tags for a similar application.

But implementing RFID tracking for potentially tens of thousands of instruments sounds like an expensive proposition for asset management. Do the safety and efficiency benefits provide the return on investment (ROI) to justify the expense? Can the use of RFID help to increase revenue or just reduce costs? Continue reading

Xerafy Helps Ixtapaluca Hospital in Mexico Track Thousands of Surgical Instruments With Autoclavable RFID Tags

Ixtapaluca-blogAs more hospitals search for ways to improve patient safety and operational efficiency, they are increasingly turning to RFID and Xerafy’s small, durable RFID tags have become the go-to resource for tracking challenging items like surgical instruments – and yet another hospital is deploying those tags in the operating theater and CSSD. Development and Operation of Hospital Infrastructure of Ixtapaluca (DOIHI), the asset management organization at the 246-bed Regional Specialty Hospital of Ixtapaluca (HRAEI) in Mexico, will use Xerafy’s UHF RFID tags as part of its RFID solution provided by Xerafy’s partner, HTK, to track and manage surgical tools and other hospital’s assets. Xerafy’s XS and XXS autoclavable RFID tags are glued to each surgical instrument, and the unique ID number encoded to that tag was paired in the HTK software with details about the tool to which it was attached. Continue reading

Berlin Hospital Charité CFM Launches Instrument Tracking with Xerafy

Berlin-Hospital-Charité-CFMThe time and cost to trace more than 300,000 surgical instruments used in the Charité CFM Facility Management has been a big challenge for a long time. Instruments are easily mixed up even when they are serialized or laser engraved, and devices can be difficult to read when contaminated. Also, it is not easy to service the instruments properly or document the product lifecycle. In February 2016, Charité finally found the solution and successfully deployed a ground-breaking surgical instrument tracking system that uses Xerafy autoclavable RFID tags and our German partner ASANUS’s sterile equipment management software.

In a recent interview with RFID im Blick Global, Sadmir Oasmancevic, department head, and Stefan Preuss, team leader of the Instruments Management and Central Sterile Supply Team explained that the hospital launched two pilot projects with two different suppliers to test RFID transponders applied to the surgical instruments with specialized adhesive. The transponders are read during the preparation process, as they are added to the cleaning devices, and in packaging prior to sterilization.

The facility did rigorous testing which included chemicals, mechanical stress during transport, material expansion during high temperatures, etc., to ensure the durability and performance of the attached Xerafy tags during at least 500 sterilization cycles. Continue reading