Be Nice with Purpose - Solving a problem before it becomes a problem can save thousands of dollars!

What nurse can’t relate to a story about a patient or visitor stealing something? Blankets, sheets, pillows, telephones, toilet paper, blood pressure cuffs, and stethoscopes are all common targets.  In my role as a Corporate Trainer, I have traveled to numerous hospitals all over the Midwest. In a few places I’ve encountered uber-helpful friendly people. The kind of people who ask, “Where are you going?”  And then follow up with, "I’ll walk with you to be sure you find it.”  I discovered that the hospitality was, in fact, a corporate policy. Come to find out, being nice is beneficial in more ways than just good public relations. 

The policy not only encourages a warm welcome, but also ensures that people are not simply wandering the halls aimlessly. The effort to engage and direct people reduces “crimes of opportunity.”  Someone wandering around is aware that staff is watching and a possible perpetrator is hindered from going places they shouldn’t and “picking up” things that are targets of opportunity (hemostats, stethoscopes, etc.).  


Be Ahead of the Problem - Potentially save MILLIONS of dollars!

Does it make sense to have hospital communications go out occasionally to remind staff to lock certain cabinets and doors and to reinforce that easily portable items should be stored in a safe location?  Yes and by doing so could save your facility thousands of dollars by preventing theft of small items. When you tie in this communication with a corporate watch policy, you have a plan that will deter theft. But, how do you "Save millions of dollars”, you ask?  The answer to potentially saving money is through the power of tagging and controlling more valuable assets (such as IV pumps, heart monitors and wheelchairs) while evaluating the business intelligence that shows how assets are managed. A Real Time Locating System (RTLS) is a great tool to do just that. A successful RTLS integration should be fully operational within the entire facility, including clinics but flexible enough to run multiple use cases with business intelligence for clinicians and administration. This type of system is the first step toward establishing a significant ROI. Asset tracking is one use case that produces an excellent return on investment. Tags are low cost, easily applied and the ability to locate a tagged asset or alert security when an asset is nearing an exit point will go a long way toward reducing the loss of expensive equipment.

If you think, "Who wants hospital equipment?" Think again! Theft of hospital equipment is big business for crooks and a huge loss for hospitals. Here is an excerpt describing the haul of a hospital theft ring, 

Officer Chervinko said, “The list of recovered property also includes a wide variety of medical equipment stolen from hospitals. He said among those items were defibrillators valued at $15,000 each, surgical kits, wall-mount thermometers and blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes.”  Source: Herald-Review

Be Cost Conscious - Solve asset allocation problems and reduce hoarding!

Hoarding is often a problem for hospitals tapping limited resources, equipment and staff.  A nurse in a burn unit once told me that staff would hide IV pumps that had “wheels that worked well”.  This was to avoid having to fight an IV pole that had a mind of its own. Though it may not officially be considered “stealing” when one takes something from where it belongs and “hides” it for “our department’s needs” it creates a ripple effect of loss. The Bio-Med Tech looking for the IV pump to do preventative maintenance and calibrate accuracy is left scratching his head, “It's supposed to be here”.  Additional time and money are spent when the nursing staff joins the search for something that should be easy to locate.  The drain on the budget is exacerbated when more pumps are rented and/or purchased to meet the demand for availability.  Knowing where one’s assets are, at all times, is key to reducing losses caused by theft and location logistics. 

Be Nice to Your Visitors. Be Nice to Your Budget. Be Proactive. Call us to talk about how RTLS can be integrated within your hospital to save money. Already have an infrastructure in place? Let's discuss what you have and how you can maximize its use.