Medical Asset Tracking helps to improve the framework conditions in the care sector

The shortage of skilled workers is omnipresent in Germany and especially in the health care sector the effects are already clearly felt by both carers and those who need to be cared for. According to a study by the Institute of the German Economy in Cologne, there could be a shortage of around 307,000 nursing staff in inpatient care in Germany by 2035, in addition to the existing shortage. This threatens to leave half a million necessary positions unoccupied.

Medical Asset Tracking gegen Fachkräftemangel in der Pflege

Above all, the working conditions in the nursing sector are one of the main reasons for this development. The lion’s share of nursing staff are happy with their job. Long working days, bureaucracy, time pressure and processes that leave too little time for the actual care tasks are increasingly leading to discontent, resignation and a high quit rate in care professions.

Between April and July 2021 alone, 9,000 professionals left their jobs during the third corona wave, according to the Federal Employment Agency1. Many carers would like to continue in their profession, but for psychological and physical reasons see no other way out than to change jobs.

The topic of “process optimisation” in particular could provide significant relief. We would like to show how this can look in practice with an example:

In a hospital with 500 beds, 1,000 employees and an equipment of 5,000 mobile medical devices, each nurse spends an average of two hours per week looking for required mobile assets such as labour recorders, infusion pumps or sonography devices. This means that in our example hospital, about 80,000 hours are spent annually just searching for medical equipment.

In order to find the right equipment as quickly as possible in emergency situations, our example hospital has accumulated a surplus of about 500 assets. If the average acquisition costs per asset amount to €4,000, this results in additional costs of €2,000,000.

Both the time tied up in searching and the financial investment required due to the overstock of equipment could be put to much better use elsewhere for the benefit of all concerned and contribute to better working and care conditions.

Save valuable time with medical asset tracking

Real Time Location Services (RTLS) can make a contribution to this. Through the use of medical asset tracking, it is possible to identify each mobile object individually and track it with location accuracy. Instead of physically searching for the required device, the nurse can have the location displayed digitally on a map with just a few clicks. Search times can thus be significantly reduced – a time saving of up to 50% is generated. Converted to our example hospital, this means 40,000 hours per year that can be used to provide better care for patients, deal with the bureaucracy that has been left behind and/or benefit the employees’ free time.

In addition, equipment overhangs can be reduced, maintenance costs lowered and space created. Our example hospital thus saves financial resources in the high six-figure range through the digital optimization of processes, which can be invested in benefits for skilled workers and thus in their retention and recruitment.

Digitalisation cannot cure diseases, but it can improve the framework conditions in the health sector to such an extent that the daily work of nursing staff is made easier, processes are simplified, and financial resources can be used where they are most urgently needed. Namely for fair pay and good training.


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