Hospitals are quickly learning about the inventory accuracy that retailers enjoy from deploying RFID technology. BJC Healthcare, which operates 12 hospitals in Illinois and Missouri, is using RFID to track medical devices like catheters, which used to be counted manually.
An article in the Wall Street Journal says that BJC Healthcare reduced the amount of stock facilities had to keep on hand by 23 percent after an RFID pilot. The health system expects a return on investment in less than 18 months.
The process of tracking inventory “was different at every hospital … some were counting it, or just eyeballing it,” Stephen Kiewiet, vice president of supply chain operations at BJC, told the Wall Street Journal. Now, “I know exactly what inventory’s in there. I know everything about that inventory.”
Hospitals are accelerating their use of RFID, especially for tracking highly expensive assets and medical devices.
Earlier this year VUEMED announced that a major Northeast hospital has deployed its VueTrack-RF solution for tracking medical supplies and assets. Relying on xArray and other technology from Impinj, and powered by the VueTrack software platform, VueTrack-RF turns supply rooms, procedure rooms or warehouses into a fully automated and hands-free continuous process tracking system.
The hospital was set to begin by tracking consumable medical devices such as stents and pacemakers, and eventually will rely on the technology to track assets and, ultimately, medical staff and patients.