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How to Make the Most of Your Asset Management Program

Written by: Michael Fragala, PhD, MBA, RN, WCC, CSPHP, AMS

For healthcare facilities, including long-term acute care centers, nursing centers, and hospitals, actively reducing financial and physical waste is crucial to improving patient care.

According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, waste cost facilities upwards of $760 billion each year. Part of this waste includes expired, obsolete, duplicate, or damaged equipment and outdated manual processes for facilities management. With the many shortages in talent, supplies, and equipment, healthcare leaders and providers face the challenge of delivering exceptional care while navigating a new, COVID-era world.

Asset management programs (AMPs) can help assuage the bigger problems in keeping up with expensive equipment like ventilators and mobile carts. However, as a leader in your facility’s procurement and asset management, consider implementing an AMP to continuously reduce waste across your facility.

Here are some strategic ways to use a real-time location system (RTLS) to improve a facility’s asset management.

Train Healthcare Staff to Use the AMP

Health workers, nurses, physicians, surgeons, and EMTs might not have received the training to work with new asset management methods. With the COVID-related staffing shortages across many facilities, it’s important to reduce stress and burnout among your employees.

Don’t just teach them how to use a solution; explain and educate them on how that solution will save them precious time and energy. Rather than spending half their workweek tracking down assets and struggling to find what they need when needed, your top talent can put their efforts towards patient care.

Develop checklists for employees to use when they use an asset, whether that’s a software program, a mobile cart, or another medical device. Place these checklists in accessible locations, including physical spots where these assets are stored and online in an employee portal.

[FREE DOWNLOAD] Asset Management Program Implementation: A Checklist for Healthcare Facilities

Identify Every Asset In Use & Storage

Use asset tags, photo IDs, and the proper names for each asset entered into your program so that employees can find each item right away. Make sure the AMP you choose can scale with your facility as it continues to grow. An RTLS solution will help each employee keep track of every item as it moves throughout its lifecycle. Furthermore, leaders who create designated spaces for assets in need of repair, duplicates, broken or damaged items, and fresh, new supplies will help employees grab precisely what they need for any procedure.

While your staff implements this new digital method, you can use this time to develop a tailored lifecycle for each asset — where it is stored, how it is maintained, who is responsible for it, and how it gets decommissioned.

Define Each Strategy & Its Purpose

The purpose of tracking and managing each asset and data set differs from one item to another. Leadership in different departments will also need specific data sets and proper analysis.

Some supervisors will wish to track compliance with sanitary regulations, rules regarding the use of each asset, and the amount of time each asset spends in maintenance. These data sets affect patient safety during procedures. Other supervisors will want to see wait times per patient, while procurement leaders will look at asset utilization. Your facility should define all of these categories before implementing the AMP.

Every facility will have different priorities based on location, mission, the community served, and the current talent employed. The versatility of an RTLS can assist nursing homes, hospice facilities, long-term care facilities, general hospitals, urgent care clinics, addiction centers, and labs.

RTLS and asset tracking have never been so easy with Joerns Healthcare and CenTrak®. With this unique offering, healthcare facilities across the industry can improve their equipment management, facilities management, and their asset management program. Knowing what you have on hand can be half the battle in uncertain times.

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