In today’s complex healthcare landscape, inefficiencies can cost lives. In fact, no other industry is error-free identification of as high importance as the pharma & healthcare industry. Misplaced medical equipment, incorrect patient data, or delays in crucial medical processes can have catastrophic effects. So, how do we address these challenges head-on and ensure that the most critical industry in our lives functions flawlessly?
Healthcare Digital Transformation: Elevating Patient Care
The healthcare industry hinges on patient safety and care. From medical equipment and devices to pharmaceuticals and other consumables— countless items must be carefully tracked and managed to ensure that patients receive the right degree of care. Despite best intentions and relentless dedication, healthcare professionals are not immune to human errors. Like anyone else, they can become fatigued and fall ill.
In addition to the constant challenges of patient safety, the healthcare industry faces the formidable task of managing vast amounts of information. On a daily basis, hospitals juggle the complexities of inventory management, material tracking, and patient information— all of which, if reliant on manual data entry, are susceptible to human error.
But, if the pandemic highlighted anything, it was the fact that technological advancements over the past few decades have enriched humankind with incredible advancements in patient safety.
Healthcare digital transformation has become the cornerstone of patient-focused healthcare. A recent survey by Deloitte suggests that an impressive 92% of healthcare professionals & institutes have achieved better performance from digital transformation.
It has become the most feasible way to streamline operations and ensure compliance through automated tasks like data management, risk assessments, and audits. For instance, tools like RFID scanners and handheld devices can help efficiently manage electronic health records and HIPAA compliance. Healthcare providers can accurately track patient data by scanning their identification wristbands, medication labels and other medical devices.
Let’s take barcodes, for example. The Global Healthcare Barcode Technology Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.70% during the next few years. It has been instrumental in inventory management, patient safety, and the reduction of medication errors.
Using Barcodes for Better Patient Care
Barcodes are used in every aspect of the healthcare industry— right from the moment a patient walks past the door to the moment they’re discharged with their medications from the pharmacy— it is helping healthcare professionals track inventory, medicine, and even the patients themselves. While barcodes have diverse applications, their primary focus is to ensure patient safety.
Let’s explore how barcodes impact a patient’s healthcare journey.
- Patient Identification: Hospitals increasingly use barcoded wristbands to confirm patient identity and ensure accurate treatment. These mobile solutions, like Zebra’s self-laminating LaserBand, enhance efficiency, cost-saving, and safety. It prints patient chart labels and the wristband on one sheet without needing a separate printer for wristbands.
- Medication Management: Barcodes reportedly prevent over 90,000 medical errors annually. The FDA also mandates barcodes on certain medications, which is stored in the National Drug Code, detailing the drug’s specifics. This system safeguards the five critical aspects of medication administration.
- Specimen Collection: Misidentification of lab samples causes around 160,000 medical errors annually, leading to incorrect treatments. Z band’s thermal desktop printers can easily fit into crowded nurses’ stations and WOWs (workstations-on-wheels). It improves labeling precision in labs, with labels designed to resist various challenges.
- Blood Transfusion Safety: Blood banks heavily use barcodes to ensure transfusion safety, as mandated by the FDA. These barcodes detail the blood’s origin, donor ID, product code, and type, ensuring patients receive the correct blood type.
From Inventory to Infirmary: RFID in Modern Medicine
RFID technology enhances healthcare inventory management in real time. Healthcare facilities can boost efficiency, minimize waste, and elevate patient care through RFID. Here are some essential benefits of RFID for healthcare inventory management:
- Patient Identity Verification: Ensuring accurate identity for caregivers and patients is vital in healthcare. There is no margin for error in patient records, care instructions, discharge summaries. Medical staff can instantly access and share vital data with RFID badges. It provides on-demand identity and complete visibility.
- Efficient Treatment: 96% of hospitals aim to expand Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) for enhanced tracking. Zebra’s rugged mobile devices and Crave EAM’s mobile capabilities can help efficiently retrieve data and avoid treatment delays.
- Ensuring Quality & Compliance: In healthcare & pharma, accuracy is non-negotiable. It requires unique inventory management and traceability solutions to maintain the highest product quality and regulatory compliance. Crave InfoTech’s RF-EWM application offers real-time tracking, encompassing batch and serial numbers. This meticulous system guarantees pinpoint inventory management, from expiration dates to regulatory adherence, ensuring minimized risks and elevated patient safety.
- Inventory Insights: Hospitals handle numerous assets like beds, IV poles, and monitors. RFID offers real-time inventory visibility, helping them make informed decisions and reducing waste. Employees can access the real-time location of assets using mobile solutions. This helps lower costs, minimizes out-of-stock risks and prevents item expiration. For example, Zebra hardware, combined with cMaintenance app, can help hospitals automate their process from weeks to just days.
Technology: The Pulse of Modern Healthcare
Technology has undoubtedly revolutionized healthcare in recent years by enabling patient-focused healthcare and improving compliance. Healthcare providers now have access to a wider range of tools to optimize both patient care and operational efficiency. Crave InfoTech, a prominent partner of SAP and Zebra Technologies, offers precise, dependable solutions that put this tech advantage in your hands. We can help your hospital or your facility identify, track, locate and monitor the condition of every patient, staff and asset you have. From RF-enabled warehouse management to asset maintenance to on-the-spot label printing, we’ve designed tools that reduce errors and guarantee FDA compliance.
We have deep expertise in deploying enterprise-grade solutions for asset maintenance, calibration, and supply chain management designed specifically for the needs of the healthcare & pharma industry. With our blend of robust software and Zebra’s industry-grade hardware, we offer an all-in-one package of reliability and precision. Contact us today to discover how our expertise can transform your processes.
If you want to delve deeper into RFID’s transformative role in modern business or need more insights on SAP integration, join our upcoming webinar, “Exploring RFID’s Role in Transforming Industries.” on October 25, 2023!
Together, let’s revolutionize healthcare, one scan at a time.