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Zakira PatelFebruary 27, 20234 min read

From Lab to Bedside: How Asset Tracking is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry includes various sectors, such as pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment suppliers, retirement homes, and private and public hospitals. And, each of these entities possesses a substantial number of assets.

Efficient asset management in healthcare is a challenging task. It requires addressing the requirements of patients, suppliers, and staff while ensuring efficient resource allocation. However, this endeavor often encounters challenges, and one prominent issue is excessive expenditures.

Increased expenses in healthcare facilities are partly connected to the theft or loss of medical equipment. To address this issue, many of these facilities are considering the implementation of a tracking system. One technology that's making a huge impact on medical services and patient care is the Internet of Things (IoT). Among the various IoT solutions available today, GPS asset tracking is rapidly gaining popularity for its ability to improve patient care and reduce costs.


What is GPS Asset Tracking?

This technology uses GPS (Global Positioning System) and involves using connected tracking devices to locate valuable assets in real time. These devices are equipped with a variety of features, including IoT sensors that can monitor the environmental conditions of assets. The collected data is then transmitted to a central platform, accessible only to authorized personnel.

This allows users to remotely monitor the movements and whereabouts of equipment or supplies, for example. By implementing GPS tracking, workers can monitor assets more effectively, reducing costs and improving overall operations.


The Role of GPS Asset Tracking in Healthcare

Manual tracking of assets can significantly impact productivity within healthcare settings. It diverts nurses' attention from patient care. With numerous devices per bed, including networked ones, the importance of locating these assets becomes paramount.

If a device or piece of medical equipment cannot be found, it cannot be utilized. Moreover, misplaced or stolen equipment, such as wheelchairs, can result in substantial financial losses for hospitals, necessitating costly replacements or leases. Promptly locating assets is crucial for addressing emergencies and ensuring proper maintenance. Failure to regularly service medical equipment like infusion pumps and patient monitors renders them unusable and further escalates capital expenses.

With the introduction of GPS asset tracking systems, healthcare facilities will be able to track assets in real time. This includes items such as beds, wheelchairs, infusion pumps, and biometric monitors. It even enables quick real-time location tracking of staff and high-risk patients.

Implementing asset tracking protocols in hospitals helps prevent asset unavailability and locate missing items, overall increasing operational efficiency. Additionally, it benefits patient care and improves the overall patient experience.


Applications of Asset Tracking in Healthcare

The applications of GPS asset tracking in healthcare are diverse and impactful:

  • Tracking Medical Equipment and Supplies: With the help of GPS trackers, employees can easily monitor the location of diverse items. This includes patient blood bags, heart monitors, EKG machines, hospital beds, wheelchairs, and first aid equipment. Having access to the real-time location of these assets enables healthcare workers to save valuable time and ensure that essential equipment is readily available for patient care.
  • Condition Monitoring: In addition, these systems equipped with IoT sensors can monitor the temperature, humidity, and pH levels of medical equipment and supplies. This proactive approach helps prevent damage, reduce the risk of contamination, and ensure the safety and efficacy of medical interventions.
  • Inventory Management: Real-time visibility into inventory is crucial for efficient healthcare operations. GPS asset trackers provide healthcare staff with accurate information about the availability of supplies. This allows them to procure necessary items before stock runs low. It also prevents delays in patient care and ensures there is always an adequate inventory on hand.
  • Geofencing: Some asset tracking solutions offer the ability to set up geofences for work areas. This feature ensures that expensive equipment does not leave a designated perimeter without proper notice. Geofencing helps prevent the loss or unauthorized removal of critical assets, enhancing security and reducing financial risks.


How IoT Improves Healthcare Asset Management

Asset tracking is an important investment in the healthcare industry, considering the significant value of medical tools. Hospitals possess a wide range of physical and non-physical assets, such as machinery, equipment, medication, medical waste, employees, IT hardware, and patient documents.

Medical facilities may be spread across different sites. Therefore managing assets can be challenging without efficient tracking systems.

The integration of IoT technology, particularly asset tracking systems, has revolutionized data collection in healthcare.

Utilizing IoT devices, tracking technology provides real-time location systems (RTLS) and on-demand data access. There are different types of tracking devices available:

  • RFID tags,
  • Bluetooth tags,
  • GPS trackers,
  • Barcodes or QR codes

The ideal way of asset tracking in healthcare is a combination of these devices. For example, barcodes and scanners are good for items like drug bottles and blood bags, and RFID and Bluetooth tags are suitable for big assets like beds, wheelchairs, and heart monitors.

Introducing IoT devices in healthcare settings offers numerous advantages. One of the main benefits is the notification system. It alerts staff to the location of vital equipment, reducing patient waiting times and improving asset usability and reliability.


Transforming Healthcare with POND IoT

POND IoT offers a real-time GPS tracking solution that's perfect for healthcare facilities. Our solution is significantly more affordable than comparable solutions on the market, making it accessible to healthcare facilities of all sizes. If you're interested in learning more about our GPS asset tracking solutions for healthcare, contact us today.