HOUSTON - US Med-Equip launched its asset management system, Star Trax, at the Memorial Medical Center in Lufkin, Texas and has increased the hospital's equipment utilization rate to 78 percent, well above the industry average rate of 40-45 percent. The innovative provider of movable medical equipment rentals, sales and service, US Med-Equip has managed infusion pumps, DVT pumps and portable oxygen at Memorial Medical Center for the past two years.
While many hospitals use manual systems for tracking assets, Star Trax is enabled with RFID technology -a wireless system that transfers data using radio frequencies- and focuses on smart asset retrieval and tracking to help hospitals keep costs low.
Under a manual system, when staff members need equipment that they don't have on hand, they may have to search several patient floors, a process that takes time and attention away from patient needs. In some cases, hospital staff may tuck equipment away when it's not in use so that it's easily accessible to them when they need it. This practice can lead to lower utilization and defer equipment maintenance and decontamination, increasing the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
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"Through Star Trax, we're combining our knowledge of industry best practices with innovative technology to help hospitals increase utilization and save money at a time when many budgets are being constrained," said Greg Salario, co-founder and vice president of business development for US Med-Equip. "Patients are US Med-Equip's first priority and our asset management system allows nurses and doctors to focus on providing outstanding patient care, while we focus on ensuring that they have the equipment they need, when they need it."
One of the main benefits that Star Trax provides to hospital management is the ability to see real-time visibility and utilization status reports for each piece of equipment being processed through the system. Additionally, the utilization reports allow C-suite executives to better assess capitalization and gauge inventory.
Management also benefits from Star Trax's ability to produce reports using SMARTS, US Med-Equip's proprietary technology system that can generate invoices, create usage and expense reports, track equipment, compile safety and Joint Commission data and prompt management when medical equipment is due for preventive maintenance.
Another advantage of Star Trax is hospitals' ability to reduce the amount of lost or stolen medical equipment. When the system recognizes that pieces of equipment have not been processed back through the system after use, it marks the piece as missing. Then, using RFID technology, the tracking code for the piece of equipment is logged into a scanner and an asset management representative can go to a patient floor to trigger the scanner and it will notify the representative if a piece of equipment is located within 15 feet, regardless of direct line of sight.