Home Articles Downloads Forum Products Services Seminar Contact
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Asset tracking systems worth it?
#75463 20/06/20 12:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
lbowie Offline OP
Newbie
OP Offline
Newbie
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Systems typically RFID that track assets throughout the hospital. Something I am coming across more of these days especially with potential efficiency benefits.

Worth it?

Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75465 22/06/20 12:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 5
Hero
Offline
Hero
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 5
I think all assets should be tracked. It makes everything more efficient. The issue firstly getting the funds approved to pay for the RFID system, and then getting the staff to implement and manage the tracking system. It need both the funds and the staffing. I recently visited an EBME Dept that had RFID tags sitting in the Managers office, that had been there for over 18 months. Why purchase them in the first place if you don't have the people to fit them and operate the system?


Be Proactive and reactive.
1 member likes this: Huw
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75466 22/06/20 2:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 78
Likes: 7
Adept
Online Content
Adept
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 78
Likes: 7
I agree with John, very use ful for tracking but also for audit purpose and help towards building business plans for product replacement or expanding fleets of devices.
You should first speak with your IT department and discuss heat maps and wifi coverage, if you dont have the infrastructure to track then there's no point. Also worth speaking to them for future visions including any updates or upgrades to IT systems-combined projects. Some very good companies out there now providing suitable hospital RFID systems. Research the difference between passive and active RFID as this will show you more into the solutions you can apply.


30 years since the Chernobyl disaster and yet we still have no super heroes or zombies.
2 members like this: John Sandham, Huw
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75467 22/06/20 2:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 14
Likes: 9
Alf Offline
Novice
Offline
Novice
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 14
Likes: 9
I agree with John also, tracking of equipment can bring many benefits. We are upgrading our system with "Smartfind" functionality presently. It has to be said though, it has not all plain sailing, as John alluded to, EBME department engagement is crucial and enables the system to be the very best it can be.

With respect to RF systems, It can be hard work coordinating Estates and IT input during installation (readers, antenna etc), one sometimes encounters a reluctance in acceptance of ownership when responsibilities lie in other disciplines - I find these things best driven by a EBME Chief who is like a dog with a bone.

It would be interesting to understand if any of you have encountered the latest generation of asset/patient location systems. These systems incorporate a software solution which utilises the Hospital existing WiFi.

A more future proof and cost effective system compared to RF systems (which require networked readers to be installed throughout the Hospital). The software tracks, locates and runs analysis on the movements of assets and/or patients and could be installed with a week given some mapping preparation beforehand,

The software Im told is more sophisticated than in RF tracking applications, possessing a degree of AI, in learning trends it possesses the ability to generate enlightening reports which could be used to improve efficiencies further.

looking forward to any feedback

Last edited by Alf; 22/06/20 3:17 PM.

Darren Magee
Head of Medical Physics & Clinical Engineering
AP(D)
Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
1 member likes this: John Sandham
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75468 22/06/20 4:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 78
Likes: 7
Adept
Online Content
Adept
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 78
Likes: 7
Some excellent points Alf, experience of RFID project?
I forgot to mention that there are active RFID systems that do not require you to put in "choke points, antennas readers etc" but simply use network points and triangulate the signal sent from the tag. I came from a hospital that utilized this system and it was fantastic when it worked. The down side is keeping up with replacing the batteries before they died, otherwise they were lost until the PPM came around. We worked out that incorporating a Tag battery check into the PPM worked really well. It comes down to money really but i would go for the active triangulation system over bespoke systems that rely on setting up yet another network that no one else can utilize. RFID can also go towards any GS1 projects that maybe happening inside your trust. Thats if GS1 is still in fashion as have not heard it mentioned for some time now.

Last edited by Dustcap; 22/06/20 4:01 PM.

30 years since the Chernobyl disaster and yet we still have no super heroes or zombies.
1 member likes this: John Sandham
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75469 22/06/20 10:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,116
Likes: 5
Super Hero
Offline
Super Hero
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,116
Likes: 5
Is it worth it? Do you already have a decent PM programme in place and operating well? Are your "customers" happy with the tech support you currently provide? If not, I would suggest that any money that comes your way might be better spent in those "more traditional" areas before splashing out on RFID.

Regarding RFID; the whole thing is not as easy (or as simple) as some of the companies would like you to believe. In short, it needs proper planning if you are to have any hope of real and lasting success.

I would recommend that RFID implementation should be regarded from the onset (and extending probably for a couple of years) as a Project ... with a Project Manager (not just dumping it on the Biomed Chief), plus a (small) project team. In a large hospital, it may even be worth retaining the team after initial implementation in order to provide on-going support (as well as development, system expansion, upgrades, maintenance etc.).

There is a need to have clear aims and targets (all written down, and sanctioned by "senior management") - otherwise the whole thing can degenerate into (yet another) fiasco (white elephant, blame game, exercise in wishing thinking, or shall we say - waste of money).

Needless to say such a Project needs to be properly funded (where is the budget going to come from?). Otherwise, well ... just look at John's example about tags laying about in the office. Let's be charitable and hope they were part of an initial trial (feasibility test, "proof of concept", or what-have-you).

I have found this site to be very informative.


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
2 members like this: John Sandham, Alf
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75470 23/06/20 3:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 5
Hero
Offline
Hero
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 5
Hi Alf, your comment "I find these things best driven by a EBME Chief who is like a dog with a bone" is very true. If the right person is leading the project, it can be very successful. As Geoff said, it should be regarded as a project, and resourced properly, with clear aims and targets.

I have seen successful RFID implementations, and when everything is in place, IT (Good wifi), EBME, the supplier, etc, it makes the whole hospital more efficient, if it is well implemented and managed.
With regard to Dustcaps comment - "keeping up with replacing the batteries" issue, I think the suppliers should build in RFID wifi tracking using the internal power supply/battery. A good USP for them! (Permanent tracking capability, as have with mobile phones now)

RFID Passive tags can also be very useful, no battery to change. I have seen them used for bed location management. (readers at ward/dept entry points).


Be Proactive and reactive.
1 member likes this: Alf
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
John Sandham #75475 27/06/20 9:57 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,116
Likes: 5
Super Hero
Offline
Super Hero
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,116
Likes: 5
I'm beginning to wonder if some of us have been looking at all this from the "wrong" (old-fashioned, traditional) angle - using infrastructure "solutions" like Wi-Fi and so forth.

Meanwhile technology zooms on ... would Smart Phone "solutions" (Bluetooth trackers) like Tile be any use? Certainly cheaper, and less physical maintenance, for sure. Especially in smaller locations such as clinics, vet's premises (or biomed stores and workshops) etc.

Just a thought. smile


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75477 28/06/20 5:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 6
Hero
Offline
Hero
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 6
Over the past couple of months I have seen various contractors working at the same hospital, even though the hospital has their own BME department. Would that hospital grant access to the RFID to the contractor or would they charge for it if an RFID system is in place? I am sure there are many hospitals throughout the UK in the same position.


If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs!
Re: Asset tracking systems worth it?
lbowie #75478 29/06/20 11:25 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 5
Hero
Offline
Hero
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,841
Likes: 5
Hi Geoff, I would expect the IT Dept in every hospital would not want a blue tooth system as Wifi is faster, easier to configure, has better range, and is more secure.
Hi Neil, I can't see any reason not to give access to the RFID system if it makes it easier to find devices, so long as it can be done in a secure way, and limited access. The contractor should not have to pay for it, its a hospital system for improving efficiency.


Be Proactive and reactive.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  DaveC in Oz, RoJo 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
6 members (Huw, sp00k, umish, Mark Radbourne, Dustcap, DaveC in Oz), 389 guests, and 36 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
JohnBad, Aziz Sallam, Bilchev, alexsatish, Kevjrey
9654 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums25
Topics10,558
Posts71,590
Members9,654
Most Online5,980
Jan 29th, 2020
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4