Managing essential medical assets to improve care delivery

Managing thousands of medical devices that deliver patient care every day is a daunting task for healthcare providers. Luckily, IoT technology is making it possible…

Scott Lundstrom profile picture
Scott Lundstrom

June 21, 20224 minute read

Managing thousands of medical devices that deliver patient care every day is a daunting task for healthcare providers. Luckily, IoT technology is making it possible to automate the tracking and maintenance of essential medical equipment – from hospital beds to heart monitors. IoT-driven track and trace not only improves your current asset management performance, but it also introduces entirely new capabilities to reduce costs and risk, improve patient service and drive innovation.

On the face of it, questions pertaining to asset track and trace are very simple: What medical equipment do we have? Where are those devices? How are the devices being used and how are they performing? Do any medical devices need to be repaired, replaced or retired? Are all our medical devices properly accounted for and compliant from a security perspective? Simple questions, for sure, but gaining the visibility into your medical devices to answer those questions has been anything but simple, and the lack of this data can negatively impact patient care.

Transforming asset management with IoT

Overcoming the challenges of traditional asset track and trace starts with applying IoT to transform asset operations and management. But the technology allows organizations to go further to achieve inventory management, asset tracking, asset utilization and performance, condition-based and predictive maintenance, end-to-end asset visibility and supply chain management.

These capabilities offer significant benefits over what have been the most common approaches to asset management to date: spreadsheets, handwritten lists and visual inspections to track the location, status and performance of assets. In many cases, organizations are still operating in this manner and are unaware of just how labor-intensive, error-prone and inefficient it truly is. Even where more sophisticated asset management systems are deployed, organizations are often not able to answer basic questions about their assets effectively because they lack the necessary real-time data.

Without complete asset visibility, it is not possible to optimize asset performance or know the health of each asset. As a result, assets are under-utilized, fall through the maintenance cracks or fail completely. Staff is unable to locate assets, may spend hours searching for them or may even purchase unnecessary replacements. This also leaves the asset vulnerable to damage and theft. In addition, it’s difficult to know when an asset needs to be replaced, or even when it was replaced. Many organizations find themselves with these ‘ghost assets’ that they are still paying for and insuring long after they have been retired. 

A better way

With thousands of devices under management, large healthcare providers can achieve clinical improvements and significant cost savings by managing medical devices with an asset track and trace solution.

Key capabilities of such a solution include

Secure device management Protects all operating assets by automatically and securely provisioning, managing and retiring IoT devices across your asset base

Ecosystem integration Delivers seamless information flow across enterprise supply chain solutions. This enables the frictionless exchange of sensor-based information with key business systems – such as ERP, WMS and TMS – and with people inside and outside of the organization

Unified messaging Aggregates information from disparate systems and combines it to create a single data feed to enable any-to-any communication. This provides complete transparency, governance and data tracking and visibility

Actionable insights Applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor conditions, boost performance and maximize availability of serviceable equipment and assets, delivering end-to-end asset visibility

An enterprise IoT platform enables vast amounts of structured and unstructured data from a wide variety of sources to be rapidly ingested and aggregated in large data sets. A unified data model allows for all data to be normalized across the entire ecosystem. The platform can then apply a series of services to the data to meet the critical asset management needs of your healthcare organization.

The potential for IoT-enabled asset management to improve healthcare delivery is enormous. Whether pinpointing inventory, detecting changes to asset condition, tracing lost or stolen goods or optimizing your supply chain, IoT-enabled asset management solutions provide the tools to improve efficiency. Learn more about how Asset Track and Trace for Healthcare from OpenText™ can help your healthcare organization.

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Scott Lundstrom

Scott is a long-time industry analyst, CIO, and software developer supporting complex regulated businesses in healthcare, life sciences and consumer goods. At AMR, Scott contributed to the original SCOR model, and helped launch the Top 25 Supply-Chain program. Scott founded the health industry practice at IDC Research and lead this group for 13 years. Scott also held leadership roles in research focused on AI, Cloud, SaaS, enterprise applications and analytics.

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