Improving Operational Awareness and Efficiency in the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is directly related to human health. As a result, it’s logical to assume that healthcare facilities operate with the utmost efficiency. In fact, healthcare is the top industry that anyone would instantly pick if we were to name a single industry that runs with the highest efficiency. However, this is unfortunately not the case in most situations. Healthcare is concerningly one of the least efficient industries, even in developed countries. This can be attributed to many factors including healthcare systems, funding issues, and employee capabilities. But in the end, it comes down to one thing: people’s ability to organise and coordinate services without assistance.
Most of the underutilisation problems in the healthcare facilities are as simple as that. A thermometer was used by an employee and was forgotten somewhere. A defibrillator was urgently needed in an emergency situation but couldn’t be found, because it was being used by other staff members in an unknown location. Or a piece of equipment was needed but the employee tasked with fetching it doesn’t know exactly what it looks like. These situations may seem trivial and insignificant but in life-or-death situations, these split seconds will make all the difference. Tiny inefficiencies throughout the day can add up to huge distortions in the operations of healthcare facilities.
At Borda, we aim to find solutions to these problems in healthcare facilities. Let’s take a look at the methods we implement to resolve these issues and increase the efficiency of healthcare facilities.
Create Operational Awareness with Asset Management Systems
Borda’s asset management solution makes sure that the inventory recorded in the system matches the reality. Let’s elaborate on this. Manual inventory counting is a challenging process that takes a long time to complete and may even halt healthcare operations entirely. This is why it’s often delayed or rarely conducted. As a result, the inventory situation in healthcare facilities becomes practically unknown shortly after inventory/asset enters the hospital.
However, with our asset management solution, inventory counting becomes a fast and easy process. Borda Asset Management System decreases an inventory counting process that lasts for around 60 days to approximately 1 day. This means it can be conducted more frequently and results in staff having up-to-date information about their inventory situation. During the inventory counting, we notify if an asset is not at the location where it should be or missing while suggesting the right location for that asset.
In an ideal asset management scenario, all items that need to be managed are tagged with RFID tags. These tags are affordable and unobtrusive, with some as small and as thin as a sticker. UHF passive RFID tags don’t require any batteries or maintenance and have a long life expectancy. The tagged items are then registered and logged in a record, which is a part of a management interface.
This is the whole setup process with Borda. Tag and register. That’s all. After this phase is complete, any kind of information that is vital to the equipment can be recorded in the system, such as:
Item names and descriptions
Ideal maintenance and/or calibration frequency
Last maintenance and/or calibration date
These are some examples of the type of item information that can be recorded. More information can be added according to each facility’s requirements.
This information is very useful in identifying an item, determining if it needs maintenance, and finding out where it belongs.
But what about finding wayward items? Well, we also have a solution for this.
With our Borda’s handheld device, which is an element of the system, can be set to a “Search & Find” mode. This is useful when looking for an asset or checking if all assets are located in the correct location.
To better explain these capabilities, let’s review a scenario. Let’s say an employee is looking for an item which is needed for an operation. Employees have no idea what the item looks like and all the location information indicates that the item is in a specific storage room. With this little information, it could take a very long time for the employee to locate and identify the item.
But with our solution, the employee can simply turn on the “Search & Find” mode and be guided to the correct item with assistance (in the form of beeping) from the device. To confirm it’s the employee can check the identification information displayed on the device. Simple and quick.
Increase Efficiency in Healthcare
You can divide the healthcare facility into zones by installing RFID signal transmitters on or around the door, gates and access points. These transmitters can identify the tags on items and equipment when they are moved. In this way, the hospital staff can have real-time information about the location of the items. An alert or warning can also be set-up so that when an item is moved from a specific location, the hospital staff will be alerted and informed about the new location of the item.
Such zonal tracking can dramatically increase the speed of processes such as locating, relocating and identifying equipment. It also allows on-site assistance to determine whether it needs maintenance or calibration.
When you consider that some of these processes may completely halt the regular operations of a hospital, these Borda improvements are literally life-saving.
In a nutshell, here’s how our solutions for healthcare facilities can improve the efficiency of hospitals:
Increases the speed of locating and relocating equipment
Improves equipment maintenance and calibration processes
Speeds up inventory counting
Allows quick identification of equipment
Increases asset utilization rate
These improvements reduce operational costs, increase employee productivity, and save time for hospitals.