Pervasive RAIN RFID based tracking solutions are replacing barcodes and other manual processes to help hospitals spend less on asset management and purchasing, make patients safer, and improve efficiency.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers are pressured not only to improve quality of care, but also to increase the accuracy of their documentation. And they must do this while driving costs out of their operations. This pressure is coming from payers (both private and public) and regulators, and will only increase as more organizations adopt value-based reimbursement models.
Smart technology helps hospitals meet these competing challenges, and many providers have already implemented RAIN RFID-based solutions to improve asset, equipment, and even patient visibility, as well as reduce costs and automate documentation processes. This high-impact technology can deliver a rapid return on investment (ROI), often paying for itself in just a few years. For example, University of Michigan started tracking their assets some years ago using barcodes, which implies a lot of manual scanning. Compliance is high in CSSD but drops dramatically as it gets in the OR, as nurses have to manage a lot of priorities. Key here for hospitals to deliver ROI is to implement a technology that ‘forces’ data capture and minimize manual intervention, which RAIN RFID allows thanks to automated scanning at critical points in the hospital.
Hospitals use RAIN RFID solutions to:
- Improve asset visibility via real-time location and tracking. This makes it easier for staff to find critical equipment (and reduces the amount of time wasted searching for those items), and helps hospitals avoid unnecessary capital equipment purchases.
- Manage pharmaceutical and medical inventories. Hospitals that use smart cabinets and other solutions can track and control inventories automatically, and initiate new supply orders in a timely fashion.
- Improve sterilization processes and patient safety. Hospitals are using RAIN RFID tags to track surgical instruments and other items in the operating theater. This eliminates time spent on manual counting, reduces instrument loss, and provides an accurate record of which instruments were sterilized.
- Track patients. Using RAIN RFID-based ID tags, hospitals can quickly identify patients, match them to rooms/beds, and even ensure they receive the right medication dosage.
The asset management benefits alone can generate tremendous savings for hospitals. The typical 400- to 500-bed hospital can have as many as 10,000 pieces of mobile equipment (including IV pumps, monitors, wheelchairs, and other items). The rapid pace of activity in most hospitals often results in assets left where they were last used, not where they are needed. That means that up to half the asset fleet may be idle at any time (according to this GE Healthcare white paper).
This leads to inaccurate asset counts, under-utilization, and unnecessary replacement spending. Using RAIN RFID, hospitals can slash their asset costs and improve utilization and cleaning effectiveness. Hospitals can reduce the amount of equipment needed by more efficiently retrieving, cleaning, maintaining and delivering it where it is needed, and eliminate idle assets.
The tiny, durable RAIN RFID-based tags provided by companies like Xerafy can signal the location of every device to readers placed throughout the hospital. Staff will know where every item is – and receive alerts if assets mistakenly get sent to the laundry, are standing idle, or have been removed from the building. At the Hospital of Ixtapaluca in Mexico, Xerafy’s autoclavable tags track 11,000 surgical instruments, eliminating manual counts and lost assets. Xerafy’s tags have also been successfully tested at Charité CFM in Berlin.
Want to learn more about RAIN RFID in healthcare? Check out this video.