Efficient supply chain processes in a hospital are like a healthy bloodstream, which provides timely support for any function of the organism. Here are just a few use cases where, with the help of real-time technologies and redesigned processes, your organization can better streamline supply chain processes, driving more effective use of resources.
Use passive RFID tags and tracking software to monitor the inventory of high value organic materials during storage in controlled areas (inventory rooms and freezers) and just prior to use with patients. You can also auto-associate them with the patient during a procedure to eliminate manual documentation into the EHR, ensure accurate inventory levels in the supply system, and maintain the chain of custody of each uniquely serialized item prior to and following the use of the item.
Track the location and status of surgical instrument trays to increase efficiency in preparation and post-procedure processing. With this information, trays can be detected as ready and available in the surgical room when alerting the surgeon of readiness. In addition, through association, and potentially through passive RFID or 2-D engravable bar codes, specific instruments can be associated with the specific tray to enable instrument tracking.
Reduce blood unit loss while it is in transport in blood coolers by alerting if it is close to reaching an acceptable duration of time.
Use an RTLS system to track patient specimens from the patient to the lab to ensure they are received as intended in an efficient manner and to collect data on processing times.
With an RTLS system, you can track supply bins and integrate this information to an ERP system.
Use an RTLS system to track medications from the pharmacy until delivered to patients to ensure they receive them accurately and to collect data on processing times.
With the use of RTLS, you can minimize the amount of equipment being lost due to theft or misplacement. By setting up software rules to identify “out of area” zones you can trigger alerts for equipment “abandoned” in hallways and other unacceptable areas. You can use reports to identify “black holes” in a hospital and increase equipment surveillance in that area for missing equipment.
Automate the inventory levels tracking through location-based technologies. Further, use this data so PAR levels can be appropriately maintained, billing can be accurately assigned, and reorder points can be calculated instantly.
Real-Time technologies provide means to trace the exact location of consumable supplies. This is critical in any product recall situations, when tinted supplies need to be removed from the supply chain as quickly as possible.