Healthcare has never been more competitive. An emphasis on preventive care, an aging population and an environment in which peer reviews can go viral in seconds all have produced this environment. Hospitals are continually striving to reach ever-higher standards of quality. Equipment management tools can play a significant role in helping them achieve those goals.
Organization is Vital
Keeping track of the location and condition of equipment in a healthcare setting can be a difficult job. Monitoring check-in/check-out status, maintenance schedules and histories, warranties and insurance is both time-consuming and potentially error-prone. Hospitals present perhaps the strongest example of how consequential asset tracking can be. When patients have to wait for healthcare staff to track down the equipment and tools they need to do their jobs, their quality of care suffers.
Fast, Accurate Location and Maintenance Tracking
Equipment management tools establish a system for which every piece of medical equipment is labeled with a unique barcode. Not only can healthcare professionals locate what they need when they need it, but they can also stay on top of critical equipment maintenance schedules, reduce the risk of mix-ups, curb or eliminate loss and theft, and ensure preparation – all of which help patient quality standards.
The Potential Legal Ramifications of Mismanagement
There’s another reason why equipment management tools are so important for healthcare institutions: Patients who sustain injuries from faulty medical equipment may very likely file suit against a physician or other staff member, healthcare facility, and/or even the equipment manufacturer. “Medical Equipment Management,” a report issued by MedPro Group, a U.S. liability insurance company for healthcare professionals, states that “in many instances, patient injuries occur because of assumptions about who may use, calibrate, modify, or repair equipment.” Injuries from healthcare tools and equipment may occur, the report adds, from “training gaps that don’t address pre-use testing, preventive maintenance, malfunction reports (and incident reports), and repair procedures. A commitment to safety is an essential element of any process related to the use of medical equipment – whether the medical equipment is purchased, rented, borrowed, or leased.”
How Equipment Tracking Works
Equipment management tools enable healthcare institutions to effectively outsource the task of equipment tracking and maintenance. All data related to a facility’s equipment and tools are housed in a centralized location for easy access. The unique barcodes attached to each piece of equipment are scanned using either a handheld device or even a smartphone or tablet. Within this system, an employee can quickly review the exact location of an item, the identity of the person who has it; its check-in/check-out status; warranty, insurance, lease and purchase information; complete maintenance history; and maintenance schedule, among other details. Keeping up with routine equipment maintenance and updates is imperative, and thankfully, equipment management tools allow users to establish customized notifications and reminders to alert them to upcoming service dates. They can also create work orders and check on the repair status of any asset.
The best equipment management tools are those that close the communication loop among everyone involved in the lifecycle of a healthcare institution’s assets. Employees never have to spend valuable time hunting down lost items. And patients don’t have to wait for the care they need. Additionally, when equipment has been properly maintained, healthcare facilities produce better outcomes and save money in the long term because they avoid expensive repairs or replacements.
Asset Panda’s simple yet powerful mobile app syncs with the cloud and includes a mobile barcode scanner. We make it easy for healthcare professionals to track their equipment and tools any way they want with our customizable platform.
To learn more about Asset Panda’s capabilities, visit assetpanda.com
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