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selected the GE Healthcare AgileTrac asset manager system, which uses workfl ow methodologies and automa- tion technology to manage mobile equipment. Once Bon Secours selected AgileTrac, GE Healthcare worked with the system to assess and optimize its equip- ment workfl ow, resulting in the design of new processes to better utilize mobile equipment. The newly identifi ed processes were then fed into the AgileTrac system and reinforced by the system’s RTLS to manage more than 11,000 products, from IV pumps to wheelchairs, to enable hospital staff throughout the 850-bed system to locate equipment immediately, even across facilities. In addition to helping staff focus on patient care rather than spending unnecessary time locating equipment, Bon Secours Richmond realized a savings of more than $5 million through reductions in equipment costs since adopting the AgileTrac system. Additionally, the system noted a signifi cant decrease in lost equipment along with improvement in the use of staff time and resources.


St. Mary’s was at approximately 60 percent utilization of IV pumps. After, it was raised to 92 percent. Ad- ditionally, the fees paid by Bon Secours to a third party for equipment management services have decreased by nearly 50 percent per hospital bed.


Eighty percent of Bon Secours’ savings were attributed to better utilization, which resulted in a reduction in unnecessary equipment.


In 2008, after seeing such tangible success, the health system elected to promote further effi ciency by expanding its use of tracking technology beyond asset management. Using the same infrastructure that was used to track equipment, Bon Secours initiated a sys- tem focused on the fl ow of patients from the operating room. As a result, operating room staff was better able to manage their workfl ow and the movement of both patients and equipment.


Through this expanded effort, St. How it works


The AgileTrac family of products uses real-time location system (RTLS) technology to gather real-time data. The system also integrates key events and data from a hospital’s other clinical IT systems, feeding them automatically into the system. A workfl ow engine integrates with rules to provide next steps, status updates and notifi cations as patients and assets move through the facility. Critical operational status updates are visible in real time on various dashboard views throughout the hospital. Rules-based notifi cations can be transmitted via e-mail or pager.


Eighty percent of Bon Secours’ savings were attributed to better utilization, which resulted in a reduction in un- necessary equipment. For example, St. Mary’s was able to reduce its IV pump inventory from 520 to 392 – a 25 percent reduction. This reduction also improved the facility’s utilization rate. Prior to its use of AgileTrac,


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Mary’s was able to reduce staff calls for missing equipment by approximately 50 percent. Additionally, the hospital was able to reduce the time needed to prepare a room for surgery from 45 to 20 minutes. Now, six years after installing AgileTrac to manage assets and almost two years of tracking patients in operating rooms, Bon Secours Richmond is realizing a savings of approximately $2 million each year. Bon Secours Richmond recognized the need for an innovative approach to address a challenge faced by healthcare systems around the country. As shown by the results, breaking the cycle of ineffective management of mobile assets offers a sig- nifi cant opportunity for healthcare organi- zations to make serious gains in achieving their patient care and cost management goals. By redesigning a hospital’s distri- bution and management processes using tracking and utilization solutions such as AgileTrac, healthcare facilities are able to reduce inventory, avoid capital purchases, lower or eliminate rental and lease expenditures and decrease maintenance service costs. Meanwhile, on the care delivery side of the equation, ensuring that mobile clinical assets are always in the right place at the right time and in good working order contributes to improved patient care and staff satisfaction.


HMT HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY January 2011 21


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