RFID Enabled Cabinets Can Save Time and Money
As part on an ongoing project to cut down on supply costs, Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Ga has begun to implement their new WaveMark RFID Asset tracking system. This tracking system, consists of 18 RFID-enabled cabinets, as well as an interrogator in each room with a cabinet.
The idea behind the system is simple; by using real time inventory alerts and updates from RFID Chips, the hospital hopes to begin purchasing its supplies in bulk quantity, in attempt to cut down on costs. Currently using the manual inventory system that was previously in place, most supplies had to be purchased in small quantities, driving individual supply costs up.
The RFID real time tracking solution has helped ease many of the hospitals everyday tasks that would otherwise have to be done by busy staff members. By eliminating the need for a staff member to manually take inventory, the hospital can now save time and money by easily checking inventory on a real-time computer.
With many important supplies needed for surgeries and operations, it was imperative that the inventory tracking system be reliable and accurate. Another great benefit of the real-time inventory is the ease of ordering supplies before they run out. With up-to-date inventory, predicting when items should be needed will also be easier.
WaveMark has currently installed RFID-enabled cabinets in the hospital which includes five in the catheterization lab and eight in individual procedure rooms. Each cabinet contains a 13.56 MHz reader compliant with the industry standards, as well as an antenna on each shelf. Every room in which the cabinets are installed also has a separate RFID encoder (allowing employees to sign out a product, and record the procedure and patient for which it will be used) connected to a computer and touch screen. The hospital also has an RFID-enabled tagging station, to link RFID numbers with individual products when they are received or used.
When an employee needs an item from a cabinet, s/he walks to the separate reader stationed in the room, inputs data identifying the employee, along with the patient who will use that product, and then reads the item label’s ID number. The worker can then view a dashboard indicating which items are currently in storage on each shelf. If an object is removed, the cabinet’s interrogator is no longer able to longer read its unique ID number, and the system updates that item’s status as having been used by a specific patient. If a staff member fails to enter data identifying herself or the patient, and if the item is simply removed from the room, an alert is sent by the WaveMark reader to the back-end server, so that the appropriate employees can be notified by text or e-mail. The dashboard then displays the item as missing. On the other hand, if the product that has been checked out for use with a patient is returned to the shelf, the system updates that information, indicating it has not been used and is again available for use with another patient.
This is another great example of how RFID chip technology can help your company save time and money via asset tracking. RFID technology use has been increasing steadily in recent years, and has proven to be one of the most effective asset tracking methods. If you’re looking to cut costs, keep a real-time inventory, save valuable employee working time, then it is time to look into an RFID solution for your inventory tracking needs.