August 25, 2020
Medical Tracking Software Can Play Larger Role in Lifecycle Management
In 2016, hospitals were spending $93 billion annually on medical equipment lifecycle costs. That’s according to this article written by Peter Robson, CEO of Miga Solutions Foundation, a nonprofit focused on the acquisition and donation of surplus medical equipment, activities, and services for charitable organizations, healthcare providers and other groups committed to advancing global healthcare. Medical tracking software enables healthcare institutions to better manage the lifecycle of their equipment and tools, so they keep those fixed assets in good working order for as long as possible before requiring replacement.
Robson defines medical equipment lifecycle, or MELC, as “all the activities related to the purchase, service, and disposition of medical equipment and technology,” which he explains “presents some of the most complex and murky challenges for hospitals trying to reduce their spending.”
Pandemic Increases Dependence on Technology
Over the last few months, we’ve seen medical offices use teleconferences more frequently as a means for doctors to communicate with patients. However, long before our current global pandemic began, the industry was planning for what is quickly becoming an increasingly digital approach to healthcare. A report issued by Deloitte outlines the key components (including cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, 5G technology, IoT and blockchain systems) of what will be a “digital health ecosystem” driven by the need for predictive and preventive care; cheaper, precise and less invasive treatments and therapies; and consumer/patient demand.
As hospitals and busy medical offices bring more and more technology into their offices and use these tools in their daily practices, medical tracking software can play an increasingly larger role in lifecycle management. Healthcare staff need the means to track vital equipment so they’re never left without the tools they require. Medical tracking software can help staff members identify not just the location of any item, but also its check-in/check-out status, present condition, maintenance history and more – all through a unique barcode affixed to the item. It’s a lifecycle approach to equipment management.
Equipment Maintenance and Tracking
Medical equipment requires periodic inspection and maintenance, as well. Medical tracking software, when used as part of a fixed asset tracking system, allows users to establish custom notifications and alerts so they never miss important service and updates. Equipment that is routinely serviced and properly maintained will outlast equipment that is only serviced when there’s an issue. Preventive maintenance helps hospitals avoid the steep costs associated with major repairs, which may result from problems not addressed in a timely manner and which become progressively worse. In the worst-case scenario, equipment not properly maintained may simply break down, leaving staff shorthanded and patients at risk.
Cybersecurity Becomes More Critical
Another benefit associated with medical tracking software is security. Equipment that isn’t updated regularly could be left vulnerable to hackers. “With unprecedented digital advancements,” Deloitte says, “cybersecurity remains a massive challenge for public and private health care entities.” Among the areas that healthcare organizations need to address, the report says, are medical device and wearables safety, identity management and external device authentication, and telemedicine security monitoring.
All of these trends point to the need for healthcare organizations to have their collective fingers on the pulse of the technology, equipment and tools they own. Manual tracking methods are a surefire way to lose track of assets and invite confusion. Asset Panda’s medical tracking software solution, served up through our mobile app, takes an intuitive, yet comprehensive approach to medical equipment lifecycle management. It’s flexible, customizable and won’t require any special training, so your staff can get up to speed quickly.