6 Hospital Inventory Management Best Practices Using RTLS

September 22, 2022

RTLS can help automate time-consuming hospital processes and streamline compliance in hospitals — ultimately helping to increase ROI.

Technology in the healthcare space is constantly evolving. Hospitals require a massive amount of equipment and other devices to function properly and provide the best healthcare possible. Moreover, the modern healthcare industry continues to push forward in the technology space, allowing providers to help their patients fight and manage diseases more effectively. 

One dated aspect of hospital systems is inventory management. Every year, healthcare facilities lose money and waste resources replacing or renting equipment. This can be due to a variety of avoidable factors, from mismanagement to equipment leaving the hospital by accident or malice. 

Incorporating RTLS technology into inventory management can optimize and address these issues. Amongst other benefits, RTLS can help automate time-consuming hospital processes and streamline compliance in hospitals — ultimately helping to increase ROI.

What Are Hospital Inventory Management Best Practices? 

Recent advancements in RTLS technology for healthcare providers provide an extremely useful way of managing these assets. Let’s break down how, and detail six essential best practices for optimal inventory management within your facility.

Applying Diligent Maintenance

Like any piece of machinery, hospital equipment requires maintenance to operate at its highest level and last as long as possible. With so much equipment to track, it can be difficult for healthcare workers to manually ensure all equipment is up to maintenance standards — leading to instances where equipment is mismanaged.

RTLS technology helps manage when upkeep is needed so that it happens on time and regularly. This streamlined process allows hospitals to effectively utilize their time and resources, helping managers make sure that they aren’t replacing tools before they need to. 

Increasing Sanitization and Cleaning

In a healthcare facility, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. An unsanitary piece of equipment can pose significant risks to patients — even leading to healthcare-associated infections.

RTLS supports greater tracking of dirty equipment, helping staff understand the flow of tools and equipment, and knowing when items need to be cleaned or sanitized. With effective RTLS asset tracking, hospitals can eliminate the annoyances of cleaning schedule management — streamlining hospital operations and bolstering long-lasting equipment.

Reducing Equipment Shrinkage

Careless management of healthcare tools can cost hospitals thousands of dollars — if not hundreds of thousands. Whether by ignorance or malice, patients frequently take equipment home with them — and sometimes, even healthcare workers misplace essential pieces of equipment.

By utilizing RTLS technology, managers can easily trace equipment, helping to prevent any risk of theft or simple misplacement. Through smart asset tracking, there is a clear understanding of the location of equipment at all times, supported by exit alerts when a piece of equipment leaves its designated area. Tracking prevents equipment shrinkage, a major factor in how hospitals save money with inventory management. With more readily available equipment, hospitals can more reliably provide uninterrupted care to patients.

Eliminating Stockouts

A countless amount of medicine, machines, and tools are cycled through the ecosystem of a healthcare facility. By tracking real-time access to inventory and orders, healthcare staff can help eliminate inventory shortages that creep up on team members. Ensuring stockouts don’t happen helps nurses, doctors, and other staff members focus on providing healthcare, not restocking syringes.

Harnessing Smart Ordering

A major challenge for hospitals is acquiring the correct amount of inventory without over-ordering. Within strict hospital budgets, over-ordering can waste essential funds and lead to over-stuffed equipment storage.

RTLS technology creates a streamlined approach. Real-time data access helps automate equipment ordering, thereby improving staff efficiencies and reducing unnecessary purchases from providers.

Optimizing Rental Usage

Hospitals don’t have every piece of equipment that they might need on-site — this leads to many hospitals ordering equipment rentals. With RTLS technology, return times are automated and easily managed, ensuring rentals are returned at reasonable times. 

Moreover, RTLS technology keeps the house in order, helping staff members understand the tools already at their disposal. When hospital staff fully understands what equipment they have access to and how to maintain it, the need for rentals drastically lowers.

Prosight’s Inventory Management is How Hospitals Will Move Into the Future

Modern hospital inventory management isn’t just a PDF that managers send to their staff. It’s an engaged form of technology that creates a whole network to help hospitals better manage their inventory and time. Through smart asset tracking, Cox Prosight helps hospitals run at their most effective and efficient level, transforming healthcare quality through reliable inventory management.

Meredith Strachan
Manager, Marketing

Meredith leads strategy and execution of Cox Prosight's comprehensive marketing strategy including events, digital, content, campaigns and social media. She has a passion for bringing awareness to innovative, digital healthcare solutions through marketing programs enabling organizations to fully engage patients and improve patient experiences. Meredith holds a B.S in Finance from the University of Alabama and resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and child.