A recent report by Healthcare Science Scotland describes how an investment of £200,000 in RFID tracking for medical devices at NHS Forth Valley has resulted in a total of £360,000 cost avoidance for the Trust. A further £200K of savings are expected in the next financial year and with similar savings anticipated for subsequent years.
The report explains how the use of both passive and active RFID has also improved compliance with CEL 35 (2010), increased efficiency of planned maintenance and improved clinical staff satisfaction with how quickly they can locate equipment when required. The document suggests that this technology could be easily rolled out across Scotland to help achieve the ambitions of the Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan to reduce the risk of harm to patients and staff, improve resilience and sustainability, and reduce equipment replacement and repair costs.
NHS Forth Valley has pioneered the use of active RFID tracking in Scotland since June 2014 with an RFiD Discovery system from Harland Simon. The Trust now boasts the largest number of fixed readers in any hospital in the UK. Their Medical Physics team of 14 staff are responsible for managing 14,000 mobile medical devices, including purchasing new equipment, carrying out planned preventative maintenance and repairing faulty devices.
The report concludes that in a short space of time the innovative work at NHS Forth Valley has demonstrated how utilising RFID technology can improve the management of medical devices and have a positive impact on patient care, safety and team working. It states that a relatively small upfront investment can be recovered quickly and reinvested to expand the range of devices tracked and areas covered.
For more information please view the full report