Is Your Head Nurse a Hoarder?

Brett Weiss
By: Brett Weiss
Date: October 27, 2016

The average nurse experiences one operational failure every 37 minutes. Operational failures result when nurses can’t find the information, supplies or equipment they need for patient care.

Operational failures waste nurses’ time and impact service quality. They also encourage hoarding behavior, and when equipment or supplies go missing, it creates wasted motion, ineffective processes and workarounds that do not address the larger problem: Keeping track of equipment and ensuring it’s in the right place at the right time and optimized for performance.

Failure to share   nurse supplies

Consider the nurse who stashes supplies in closets and holding areas so she can find them during patient encounters. Or stockpiles portable equipment because she knows items move throughout the facility and are often difficult to locate. Supply hoarding can be costly, leading to shrinkage from misplaced items, higher inventory because equipment is not available when needed or underutilized equipment because the hospital has more than it actually needs.

Managing assets is incredibly challenging, especially across multiple facilities and healthcare organizations. With manual processes and multiple systems it’s virtually impossible to have accurate visibility into equipment inventory, location, and usage patterns.

Equipment goes missing

EAM has been knocking on the door of healthcare for a while and it’s time to let it in. With nurses accounting for more than a quarter of the hospital budget, an enterprise asset management solution that addresses the supply chain issue and improves how assets are maintained and managed can have real ROI impact.

Keep track of assets. An EAM solution helps centralize information about equipment from heart monitors to electrical beds in one database for easy retrieval and input on activities, movements and maintenance.

Control the flow of equipment. Barcoding technology and real-time location systems can help accurately locate mobile equipment from beds to IV pumps. Nurses can spend time with patients, not hunting for supplies that have been hoarded.

Maximize the budget. With fewer financial resources for supplies, asset tracking and maintenance is more critical than ever for making sure equipment is calibrated properly and in accordance with guidelines set by The Joint Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other key regulatory agencies.

Proactively manage facilities and assets. EAM can track, report, and repair all physical deficiencies before they impact a patient experience. Whether it’s managing device recalls or managing warranties, information is available right in the system. An EAM solution will help to reduce inventory and purchasing costs, and collect on warranty-related claims.

EAM can stop the cycle of equipment and supply hoarding while reducing operational failures. Asset tracking and management is necessary for quality of care, patient and personnel safety and hospital efficiency. Asset management is more than locating equipment or fixing it when it’s broken. A strategic approach to asset management can help align inventory with patient needs, provide insight into what needs to be acquired and ensure hospital leaders have valuable information for making-decisions about their facilities and assets.

Brett Weiss is vice president of Healthcare at Avaap. He has a track record of success working with healthcare organizations to implement Infor EAM, ERP and other strategic business applications.



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