ASSET TRACKING SYSTEMS
Keeping track of medical devices, supplies, and other objects in the healthcare setting
can be challenging. Asset tracking, a new and evolving technology, gives hospitals the
ability to detect, identify, and locate assets (e.g., infusion pumps, wheelchairs) at any
time, as well as record the physical locations of those assets over time. ECRI an
independent, not for profit health services research agency, recently published an
overview of asset tracking for hospitals that choose to start the selection process for
this technology now.
ECRI’s guidance article found that while implementing an asset tracking system now
would bring immediate benefits for some healthcare facilities, others are better off
waiting for the marketplace to develop further. ECRI offers guidance and detailed
criteria to help facilities make this decision.
A comprehensive follow-up article published in ECRI’s Health Devices journal
expands on product specifications and purchasing options. Hospitals can benefit from
lessons learned through ECRI’s testing of the process of installing an asset tracking
system, included in an analysis in the same journal issue.
ECRI’s evaluation critically examines the performance of four suppliers’ systems
products: the Agility Healthcare Solutions AgileTrac, the Ekahau RTLS (Real-Time
Location System), the Radianse Find Assets, and the Versus Technology Versus
Information System (VIS). The products are rated for two basic locating applications:
finding equipment for IPM (inspection and preventive maintenance) and recalls, and
finding it for clinical use. One model is rated Preferred for finding equipment. The
systems are also rated for a more advanced application: inventory optimisation and
workflow improvement only one received ECRI’s Preferred rating for this advanced
application. Healthcare facilities that decide to implement an asset tracking system
will find ECRI’s recommendations essential in the selection and purchasing process.