Overall, the healthcare industry, from clinics to labs and family practices to hospitals, uses a vast amount of specialized equipment, materials and medications to serve patients. If any assets get stolen, lost or damaged, this can lead to unfortunate consequences. Also, it can create a bad reputation for the healthcare facility. Insufficient inventory management, lack of data, lack of standardization and inefficient practices can all contribute to a system that is costly and ineffective. Given the increasing need to become more financially prudent and operationally efficient, healthcare organizations are looking more and more at product flows throughout the hospital as a potential area where costs can be optimized.
How inventory management helps in overcoming the challenges
That’s why proper tracking of materials and devices is very important. To store and organize these medical supplies, efficient inventory management practices are vital. If inventory isn’t tracked, it not only adversely impacts organizational operations, causing staff to spend way too much time on finding inventory, but could risk lives if certain items aren’t accessible where and when they are needed. This is where global healthcare partner Medline is able to add value, by managing this inventory on the hospital’s behalf, with efficient, automated processes.
Fortune-500 company Medline, together with system integrator Dipole RFID, have developed a solution using RFID technology to control stock levels of sterile procedure trays, which ensures that the right stock is always available, allowing the hospital to focus on the important task of caring for their patients.
Each sterile procedure tray contains an Avery Dennison Smartrac RAIN RFID (UHF) tag featuring the item number, lot number and expiration date. An RFID reader installed at the entrance of the surgical storage area tracks the replenishment and consumption of each individual surgical pack, providing inventory control in real time. With this hands-free solution, manual stock counting or barcode scanning by hospital staff is no longer necessary. The system tracks which materials are low in stock, and how many are available. It compares the actual stock levels with how much stock there should be, and can generate a replenishment order to fill up the missing stock quantity.