Medical equipment tracking software and first-rate medical equipment enhance the quality of healthcare provided to patients. Benefits include faster diagnosis, less invasive surgical procedures, and reduced hospital stays. A clinical engineering department’s role in any medical setting is to ensure that all clinical/medical equipment is maintained, tested, and in a reliable working condition at all times.
This maintenance extends from electric power points to which the equipment is plugged in, through to the machinery and levels of consumable parts such as batteries and single-use attachments. And a lot of medical equipment is portable, presenting a never-ending headache for engineering if medical equipment is not tracked accurately throughout the facility.
Thousands of individual “assets” are maintained by these departments and responsibility often lies within the department to ensure all equipment is thoroughly checked, repaired and recommended for disposal once past its working life.
The nature of medical equipment movement, the limited number of expensive equipment units, and the broad range of critical through to non-critical equipment, means the clinical engineering department is often under a lot of pressure to prioritise work in a time-sensitive manner.Hardcat enhances the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s approach to asset management
Good Governance, Compliance and Risk Mitigation
Improving the tracking and management of medical device assets to ensure regulatory compliance, reduce costs and improve healthcare standards, is essential for modern healthcare facilities. Hospitals, aged care facilities and medical centres are one of the most highly regulated industries in the world and good governance, compliance and risk mitigation regarding medical equipment is critical.
The management of medical assets can be a challenging business. Medical equipment, a specialised kind of asset, presents some unique challenges. Many items of medical equipment are technically complex, requiring specialist expertise to use, manage, assess and repair them. They tend to have shorter lives than more traditional assets. Therefore, require more focused and frequent attention.
In a typical health service, they represent a considerable investment. Not to mention the operating costs, with potentially severe consequences following inadequate performance or equipment failure. All this has to be accomplished in a constrained environment for both capital and operating costs.
Medical device recalls by the manufacturers or regulatory bodies are a common occurrence within medical facilities, so being able to identify affected equipment and its current location can pose a huge problem if your equipment is not being accurately tracked.
Accessible and Reliable Medical Equipment Data
Accessible and reliable information about medical equipment assets is paramount. Managers and decision-makers need access to information that includes operating performance, risk-level profile, estimated life, maintenance programs, values and costs, and many other parameters.
If this information is incomplete, inaccurate, held in a number of unlinked databases or not captured at all, there are consequences. These include time-consuming and expensive searches, both in creating and recovering vital core management information when it is needed. Or acceptance of the risks associated with decisions made with inadequate data!
Medical equipment asset management means keeping track of thousands of physical assets and medical equipment, which becomes an overwhelming logistical challenge without a modern Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).
While asset management is important in any organisation, in healthcare it provides staff with the tools to speed patients’ recovery and ensure quality care. It is about using technology to optimise equipment performance and predict maintenance and replacement requirements.Tracking assets and equipment in the healthcare sector
PPE and PME distribution and stock management
PPE and Portal Medical Equipment (PME) such as full-face respirators, self-contained breathing apparatuses, ventilators, gas masks, N95 respirators, and surgical masks are a sought-after commodity and therefore need to be tracked to reduce both misplacement and theft.
PPE and PME management software guarantees centralised and effective control over the assignment and delivery. Specifically, when and who is cleaning, delivering and to which employee and/or patient.
Medical Equipment Asset Management; The End Goal
The end goal is to maintain equipment and make sure of availability when needed for a rapid response. The Hardcat system tells healthcare administrators what equipment is available, what work has been done on it in the past, and when it may need more maintenance or replacing.
For medical equipment asset management to fully support strategic planning and management, your asset management system should allow for:
- Optimising the service potential of assets to ensure they are appropriately used and maintained; reducing or delaying the need to purchase assets.
- Procedures, controls and audit trails to maintain the integrity of the information.
- Identify the individual or business unit accountable for the equipment and its location.
- Record the financial information needed for management and statutory reporting.
- Track the item through its lifecycle from purchase to disposal.
- Accessible to individuals nominated on a ‘real-time’ basis.
- Deliver greater value for money through evaluating service delivery options that take into account the full lifecycle costs of assets.
- Focus on asset performance and assign responsibility, accountability and reporting requirements.
- Combine planning, budgeting and reporting on assets with broader planning processes.
Medical Equipment Tracking; Reporting
Integrate procurement, operating and maintenance costs such as scheduled upgrades or refurbishments, supplies and consumables plus end-of-life disposal costs and you have a single source of truth around the actual costs. Combine performance data and you have access to information such as:
- How intensively the asset is used
- Reliability (incident reports, performance failure)
- Maintenance episodes
- Operating costs (consumables, repairs and maintenance expenditure)
- Expected effective life
The above information is typically found in different software packages in different departments. This results in information concerning a particular piece of equipment being fragmented. Ideally, different equipment information systems should be linked. So that the information relevant to one department can be shared by all the parties interested in a particular piece of medical equipment.
Medical Equipment Tracking; a Single Source of Truth
Hardcat is a single source of truth medical equipment asset management solution that contains all of the information identified above. Our solution is modularised, can be deployed in the cloud with mobile apps for work orders, quick audits and more.
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