Case Study: Milton Keynes NHS Hospital
Improving mobile medical device management with RFID
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a modern 500-bed district general hospital that provides a full range of acute services to Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.
Faced with rising demands of a growing city, the hospital continues to expand its specialist services to local people and is always looking to identify ways to improve efficiency.
Prior to the introduction of RFID tracking Milton Keynes Hospital was facing a number of challenges:
- Medical devices were being misplaced and therefore not available for use
- A lot of nursing and technician time was wasted trying to locate equipment
- Nursing staff on wards were keeping spare devices locally which made effective management of equipment more difficult
- There was a need to improve device availability to fulfil the increasing demands of a growing population
How does it work?
Each medical device to be tracked is fitted with an active RFID tag which is firmly attached to the asset. At pre-set intervals the tag transmits a unique ID, which is registered on a central database. Signals are picked up either by fixed readers or by mobile handheld readers in the wards and hospital areas.
Location information is sent back to the RFID Discovery database allowing staff to view the last detected location of each tracked item. This enables the two MEL technicians who are responsible for cleaning the equipment and delivering it to wards to locate devices quickly when they are needed for a patient. Since the introduction of RFID Discovery in Milton Keynes Hospital a total of 1800 devices have been tagged.
- More time to look after patients
- Improved efficiency for maintenance
- Increased patient safety
- Better utilisation means avoiding the need to purchase new equipment
- Increased confidence in supply of equipment amongst clinical staff