Equipment Management Software for Healthcare Organizations: 5 Major Benefits
Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organizations face unique challenges with managing their equipment. First, the equipment that they own or lease is often expensive. Second, the equipment they have is essential to providing services to patients, and they need to make sure they always have the correct amount of functioning equipment.
Third, because they handle protected health information (PHI), they must always be aware of their obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). Due to these legal obligations, hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organizations cannot risk losing equipment or having a poorly-organized equipment management plan.
Five Major Benefits of Using Equipment Management Software
Equipment management software, also called asset tracking software, can help healthcare organizations maintain more efficient equipment management plans. Here are five benefits of using equipment management software:
1. It creates a permanent audit trail.
If you are using excel spreadsheets to track your equipment, your data is always at risk of deletion or corruption, especially if you have multiple users using your spreadsheet. This can cause your audit trail to become inaccurate and make it harder to track down equipment.
With equipment management software like Assetbots, this does not happen because the activity history for each asset is not editable. As a result, your audit trail will always be permanent and accurate. By looking at the details of a specific asset or by looking at the Activity Feed Report, you will always be able to see every place that a piece of equipment has been and every person that has been assigned that piece of equipment.
2. It simplifies the checkout process.
With asset tracking software, checking out an item to a person or a location (or both) takes just a couple of clicks. You can maintain all the information about your users in your database and easily and quickly assign them equipment when necessary.
Assetbots also allows you the option of requesting that the recipients of your equipment sign an acknowledgement of their receipt of the equipment. Having recipients sign for equipment increases accountability and emphasizes to them that they are responsible for it. Finally, you can set due dates for the equipment. Your dashboard will automatically notify you if any items are overdue.
3. It eliminates human error.
The first step to developing an effective equipment management program is developing a comprehensive equipment inventory list. Maintaining this list without equipment management software can be time-consuming and error prone because of the sheer amount of data entry required. However, equipment management software can largely automate the data entry process.
For example, with Assetbots' built-in scanner or with an external scanner, you can scan items to automatically input their asset tag numbers, or you can bulk add items, which saves you time inputting data. If you are already tracking equipment on spreadsheets, you can easily import your spreadsheet into the software.
Using Assetbots’ integrations with Azure Active Directory, and Google Workspace, you can automatically sync your organization's users and groups into your Assetbots database. Once your data is in the system, you can limit permissions of your users, which will then eliminate issues like accidental deletions or incorrect edits.
4. It allows you to collaborate easily.
If you use asset tracking software like Assetbots, your database will be cloud-based and accessible from any place at any time, including on mobile devices. You can allow multiple users to access your database and control the extent to which they can edit the data by limiting their permissions. For users who are allowed to edit your data, features like auto-populated fields help maintain the consistency of your data and eliminate typos.
With a cloud-based equipment inventory list, your users can perform the following functions at any time, from any place:
Checkout and check-in equipment to and from patients and staff, including by scanning barcodes and QR codes on the equipment.
Add and update information about your equipment, including information about procurement and disposition.
Easily locate equipment.
Ensure the availability of equipment for patients and staff and determine if additional equipment is needed.
Review the audit trail for each piece of equipment and view every time it has moved to a new place or person.
Track the depreciation of equipment.
Imagine your employees being able to pull up information about an EKG machine and check it out by scanning a bar code on it? Imagine your staff being able to quickly track down equipment needed for a patient by using a mobile device? A centrally accessible inventory list makes easy collaboration possible. Best of all, every change made by any user is instantly viewable by other collaborators.
5. It increases accountability and decreases loss.
Your medical health equipment is expensive to replace. Asset management software helps you more accurately track who has possession of the equipment at all times. When you designate a person to be responsible for the equipment, you can hold that person accountable if there is any loss or damage to it.
Asset management software reduces theft and loss by tracking real-time use of equipment and maintaining an accurate audit trail for each item. Using asset tracking software along with attaching asset identification tags to your equipment will go far in helping you prevent loss and theft.
Don’t Forget a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
Equipment management software can provide many valuable benefits to healthcare providers and organizations. Losing equipment, especially equipment with PHI, can have terrible consequences for an organization, from affecting the quality of services provided to patients to causing sanctions and fines under HIPAA.
Because of the unique responsibilities and challenges of healthcare organizations in tracking equipment, you should always ask vendors of asset tracking software if they are willing to enter into a HIPAA business associate agreement with you.
Assetbots is happy to sign a HIPAA business associate agreement to protect health information. Assetbots has its own standard HIPAA business associate agreement, but is willing to enter into your organization’s standard agreement if preferred.
Assetbots offers affordable plans for healthcare providers and organizations of all sizes. Try Assetbots for free today - no sales calls, sign-up forms or account necessary.
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