How to Curb Your Rentals
The process of going ‘lean’ in healthcare involves looking at each step in the process of delivering patient care to identify and eliminate all possible non-value-added activities (waste). Here is how to identify potential areas of waste in hospital rental equipment:
- What equipment really needs to be rented to meet hospital and patient needs?
How do we check if we have our own equipment available for use?
- Is rented equipment being used efficiently?
Do we even know if it is being used once it reaches our hospital?
- Is rental equipment being returned at the end of its intended use to ensure the end of rental charges?
And, what needs to happen in order to trigger the return?
These questions may seem trivial, but many hospitals lack the tools to even provide rudimentary answers. Ineffective management of rental equipment often leads to hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoidable expenses.
One of the most effective manners in which you can improve rental operations is by managing them through the use of a Real-Time Locating System (RTLS). An RTLS platform automatically, consistently, and constantly provides you with information about all of your equipment, whether rented or not. This information includes the location of the asset(s), as well as their status (i.e.: available, in-use, dirty). The system can also automatically provide utilization data so that determination can be made as to optimal PAR levels. With that insight, hospitals can quickly become LEAN in their rental management initiatives.
When specialty rental equipment is necessary and arrives at the hospital, it gets added into CenTrak’s Asset Management software with a temporary RTLS tag and relevant information about the asset; device type, serial #, and even the patient MRN it was ordered for, along with its estimated return date. The rentals dashboard will take care of the rest. Rental assets are easily tracked and managed and as estimated return dates approach, designated recipients receive automated notifications to check on the status of each item, thus ensuring rental assets do not remain on site after their intended use has ended. For further automation, if patient workflow is enabled, CenTrak’s software can be configured to send alerts when a patient associated with a piece of rental equipment is discharged, notifying the proper individual to retrieve the device, take it out of service, and return it as appropriate to finalize the billing of rental fees. More than one CFO has been thrilled to end the common occurrence of lost rental equipment racking up months of unnecessary charges.
Examples like this, taking into account only one single specific value definition, demonstrate how an RTLS investment can quickly pay dividends through a very quantifiable ROI. Ineffective management of rental equipment often leads to hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoidable expenses. With the rental module enabled, we commonly see clients cut their rental costs by more than 75%!