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Managing and keeping check of medical stock and assets is a headache for hospitals, healthcare providers and pharmacies globally. Many of these organisations still rely on manual, paper-based processes to perform stock checks of medical equipment. This is time consuming, inaccurate and potentially life threatening for patients should staff not have access to the correct equipment for surgery and emergencies when they arise.

Efficient asset and stock management has therefore become a focal point for these organisations. Patient safety, as highlighted above, is the main driving force behind this effort, followed by the need to control costs, reduce waste and increase staff productivity.

Sometimes, however, doing nothing is the easier option.

Technical and operational issues, privacy concerns and initial investment requirements often deter organisations from altering existing processes. Understanding what questions to ask and what to look for in an asset management service provider will help to mitigate these factors.

Why it’s important to have a robust asset management solution

Asset management affects an organisation’s ability to drive efficiency and control costs. Often hospitals will be persuaded to purchase excess equipment by demand of their practitioners. This overspend stems from an inability to quickly and accurately quantify stock. When clinicians aren’t sure they will have access to what they need, when they need it, many will begin to stockpile equipment within their units.

One remedy is the implementation of a mobile solution that allows staff to monitor medical stock and assets on smartphones and tablets. Staff can quickly and accurately record stock levels, usage levels and the expiry dates of assets on a mobile device, in real time. Since it’s hosted in the cloud, all data is securely sent from the mobile device to a central IT system from where reports and alerts can be generated immediately – notifying staff to any potentially hazardous or life threatening issues, such as dangerously low levels of stock.

With the high cost and increasing mobility of medical equipment, it has become imperative to implement a robust asset management solution for those reasons alone. However, there are many other reasons to deploy an asset management solution. These include:

  1. Recall Management – Permitting faster and more efficient responses to manufacturer recalls
  2. Rental Management – Increasing utilisation of rented equipment, as well as accuracy of billing
  3. Loss Prevention – Monitoring high cost assets
  4. Audit Efficiency – Saving hundreds of hours through electronic stock audits
  5. Inventory Management – Creating visibility to equipment location
  6. Preventive Maintenance – Improving processes and workflow for proactive equipment maintenance
  7. Order Fulfilment – Improving the way clinicians’ equipment and device needs are met
  8. Data Insights and Analytics – Developing the insights needed to confirm equipment or supplies are available as needed, without the high cost of over stocking

  

What to consider when looking for an asset management solution provider

There are many companies that provide asset management tools and applications. Each solution provider will have a different approach to tackling their client’s requirements. Asset management application providers also vary significantly in each market sector. Thus, it is important to choose a provider that has experience in providing solutions specifically in the healthcare market.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you look for a provider to implement or upgrade your asset management program at your healthcare facility.

  • Will the solution scale with the projected growth of my organisation?
  • Does the application support integration with the systems and databases we currently use?
  • What type of support, if any, is offered during and after application deployment?
  • Should the application be a Software-as-a-Service?
  • How important is it to deploy a cross platform application?
  • How can I calculate the potential ROI?
  • Do I need the application to support multiple languages?
  • What investment will need to be made to support hardware installations or mobile devices?
  • Are there IoT devices that I will need to consider and/or integrate now or in the future?
  • Will the solution provider manage security and data storage?

At mpro5, we have worked with many healthcare organisations to streamline their asset management solutions. With patient safety as the driving factor we are passionate about staying on the cutting edge of technology while deploying only tested and proven solutions. We strongly believe healthcare is first and foremost about patient care and saving lives. As just one example of what an exemplary asset management solution can provide, you can view mpro5’s most recent case study featuring Aquilant, a leading provider of specialist healthcare and scientific products and services for the medical and scientific sectors.

By implementing mpro5, Aquilant has benefited from:

  • 75% reduction in error rate when completing stock and asset audits
  • Increased productivity since staff can complete 200 hospital stock checks every 2 months opposed to twice yearly
  • More efficient stock checking as the average stock check has been reduced from 1 hour to 15 minutes
  • Same day reporting opposed 7 days previously
If you are currently working with a less than responsive and intuitive asset management solution, perhaps it’s time to look at the latest available technologies and applications. Make it a priority to discuss with your colleagues how these upgrades can improve and elevate your organisation above the competition and industry standards. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at dagen.wilhelm@mpro5.com or visit www.mpro5.com.

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