Healthcare Leaps to Better Efficiency and Care by Leveraging Barcoding and RFID
The operations of hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers today are moving a lot more efficiently and accurately, thanks to the adoption of digital technology. Chief among these progressive new tools is the adoption of automated supply chain solutions.
Today, personnel have instant access to information that used to be hindered by paper and pencil. Managing inventory with a digital track-and-trace system has provided a great leap forward for those who work on the front lines – as well as behind the scenes — of delivering quality care.
By leveraging barcoding and RFID technology, providers’ workflows are seamlessly smooth.
A quick look back
In the not-too-distant past, healthcare organizations couldn’t access supply chain data to create actionable steps to increase efficiency. Across the country, providers labored under the constraints of manual documentation processes. The lack of health IT to gather and analyze supply chain data led to billions in wasteful spending.
Some of the drawbacks of these often-redundant manual processes include:
- Quality – Manual processes make it difficult for clinicians to access the critical data and information they need to do their jobs well. Without information at their fingertips, they spend more time searching and less time caring for patients.
- Cost – Manual tracking can be erratic, forcing management to spend more on equipment and supplies they may already have but cannot locate.
- Accuracy – Imprecise information related to inventory items and their location can cause stockouts and misplaced supplies, slowing down productivity. Plus, unreliable information can be a real nuisance when equipment doesn’t operate properly. When more accurate billing is established, larger orders, bulk-discount, and bigger savings ensue.
Throughout the healthcare industry, senior hospital executives report that supply chain deficiencies lead to higher costs and slower organizational decision-making. Refer to our ebook TRACK AND TRACE GUIDE FOR HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVES to learn more.
Today, users can track supplies and equipment on their mobile devices and receive alerts when an item is almost out of stock – or when an item isn’t where it should be. Barcoding, coupled with mobile computer technology, keeps workers mobile, efficient, and accurate. The benefits of automating – with products such as Zebra’s TC52ax-HC mobile computer and ET40-HC tablet – are significant, particularly when paired with Barcom’s inventory management and transaction software.
Providers report that by using fully functional mobile-powered workstations and wireless tablets, they get more work done in a shorter time. Finally, they are untethered from workstations, paper, and clipboards. Handheld devices enable them to instantly capture item information and add it to a digital history.
Mobile devices let them talk, text, and share images with colleagues instantly and securely. Any scanned information immediately syncs with the organization’s central database or management system. Communication has been vastly improved.
“When we have visibility of product from finished goods to the use on the patient and we actually capture demand and consumption versus capturing purchasing activity, we capture consumption activity,” Steve Kiewiet, Vice President at BJC HealthCare, told Revcycle Intelligence. “We significantly reduce waste and variation in the supply chain. Inventory levels come down for everybody.”
And most important of all is improved patient care. Quality expands at the heart of the organization when clinicians are properly equipped and informed regarding a patient’s identity, needs, and requirements. Their modern, business-sensible tools have enhanced smart and compassionate healthcare.
For assistance improving mobility and accuracy in your healthcare operation, contact us to schedule a site assessment.
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