Streamlining Maintenance of Supplies and Equipment in Hospitals with RTLS

October 13, 2022

Let’s explore the challenges of healthcare equipment maintenance, and how RTLS helps resolve these challenges.

Healthcare facilities are their own unique ecosystem: each facility is sprawling, built upon a dynamic infrastructure of devices, supplies and medical equipment which all require constant maintenance. Maintenance is of the utmost importance to healthcare facilities, yet within such expansive systems consistent maintenance can be difficult and time consuming for hospital staff.

Within these intricate healthcare environments, RTLS technology can help streamline maintenance. Let’s explore the importance of maintenance in hospitals, the challenges of healthcare equipment maintenance, and how RTLS helps resolve these challenges.

Why Is Regular Maintenance Management Of Medical Equipment In Hospitals Important?

Like any piece of machinery, regular maintenance of hospital equipment is vital for its longevity. Routine maintenance can help increase the lifespan of equipment by a significant margin, saving a facility from spending unnecessary money on replacements. In turn, patients can receive speedier care with better access to quality equipment, while providers can help alleviate hurdles to care related to unreliable equipment.

Medical supplies, meanwhile, often require a specific set of environmental conditions to remain functional and safe for patients. Without diligent temperature monitoring throughout a day, some supplies can run the risk of spoiling — slowing down care and potentially preventing providers from supporting patients as they need to. Automated temperature monitoring of certain medical supplies ensures healthcare workers don’t run into this issue and can provide uninterrupted care. 

The Difficulties of Hospital Equipment Maintenance and Supply Management

Such upkeep, however, is easier in theory than in practice. Different types of medical instruments vary in complexity and maintenance needs. Hospital equipment maintenance requirements change with each asset, requiring specific expertise and an understanding of the challenges each piece of equipment brings. Certain supplies face similar obstacles, with vaccines, botox, and other supplies requiring strict temperature and environmental conditions to remain compliant.

Manually handling various pieces of hospital equipment and supplies at an effective rate can be an overwhelming task. As such, manual equipment and supply monitoring is frequently prone to mistakes — especially amidst other stress-inducing variables within a hospital.

Cycles of preventative service happen in large, overlapping periods, requiring significant time and effort from mechanical personnel. Sometimes, team members need to be solely focused on the maintenance of supplies and equipment in hospitals to do their jobs effectively. As such, hospitals may need to hire additional employees for this role, which leads to an additional allocation of resources that may be unnecessary.

Moreover, medical supplies and equipment can be scattered across a hospital or healthcare facility. Keeping track of asset location is a difficult task in and of itself. In fact, nurses might even end up spending up to one hour per shift searching for the equipment they need to do their job

How RTLS Technology Can Facilitate Maintenance

Enter RTLS technology, the most effective solution for maintenance management of medical equipment in hospitals. Cox Prosight is a proud leader and solutions provider of healthcare RTLS technology. Let’s dive into a few key RTLS strategies to help the maintenance of hospital equipment, helping to increase the level of care provided while improving efficiency.

Asset Tracking to Locate Devices Throughout Healthcare Facility

As stated earlier, maintenance management of medical equipment in hospitals is an ongoing and difficult task. A primary reason for that challenge is that mobile assets are in a near constant state of motion, being used throughout different areas of a facility.

With RTLS, hospitals can easily track assets, understanding where and what the asset is being used for in various situations. RTLS technology can track equipment to the unit, facility, and room, providing precise tracking and eliminating guesswork.

Efficiently Manage Equipment Using Smart Operations

Asset tracking not only helps locate equipment, but can also keep track of which specific pieces of equipment need maintenance. Providers using the Cox Prosight RTLS solution gain visibility into current equipment inventory levels, using PAR-monitored locations. When inventory is low or an asset is in need of service, the system will alert hospital staff.

The Cox Prosight solution even sends smart alerts to healthcare workers in real-time — instantly alerting providers when equipment needs to be returned, maintained, or cleaned.

Monitoring for Temperature-Sensitive Healthcare Supplies and Maintenance Notifications

The storage temperature for certain medical supplies and equipment needs to be properly monitored to meet standards — medical assets are of no use if they spoil. With RTLS technology, healthcare providers can help ensure their equipment and supplies remain in temperature-appropriate environments — preventing the need for additional maintenance and unnecessarily reordering supplies down the line.

Cox Prosight also offers an environmental monitoring solution to automatically monitor and check temperature across a hospital. By tracking environmental conditions including temperature and humidity, providers gain instant insights to whether or not medical supplies are being properly stored. Combining environmental monitoring and RTLS asset-tracking, providers can better ensure their equipment and supplies remain in proper conditions, while proactively applying maintenance to equipment that may have faced an adverse environment. 

Understanding the Value of Streamlining Maintenance Will Help Improve a Hospital’s Healthcare and Efficiency

Maintenance management of medical equipment and supplies in a healthcare facility is not easy. Hospital administrators have some of the most difficult jobs in the healthcare industry — and that’s without the additional weight of monitoring maintenance and ordering schedules. 

Streamlining medical asset maintenance can help lead to an increase in a healthcare facility’s overall productivity, improving the quality of healthcare provided while more efficiently utilizing the budget. By implementing RTLS technology, patients can receive better care, providers can focus on providing that care, and administrators can efficiently navigate equipment maintenance and supply compliance.

Utilizing cutting-edge BLE technology, Cox Prosight provides expansive RTLS technology solutions — applicable across a diverse range of healthcare environments. Learn more about RTLS Asset Tracking using Cox Prosight today.

Jaiganesh Balasubramanian
Director, Product and Technology

Jai is a product and technology executive with demonstrated history in building and growing several brands and businesses in the Smart building and Healthcare space. Jai joined Cox Prosight in 2020 and is responsible for developing and executing the company’s Smart Hospital strategy, including solution and partnership development, investments, acquisitions, and business growth. Prior to Cox, Jai led the development and management of IoT smart and connected building technologies with a specialty in building automation systems and location-based solutions and has a track record of achieving growth and penetration into new market segments. Jai holds an MBA from Cornell University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northern Illinois University. Jai, his wife, and two children live in Atlanta, GA.