Hospitals have now begun to adopt RFID to enhance their services and better protect their assets. By doing so, it’s only natural for EMS services to take note and follow in their usage.
This is due to its technology, offering effective systems like an RFID tool tracking system which allows medical practitioners to manage and keep track of medical equipment, its location, especially in emergencies. All consumables and supplies can also be checked within minutes, ensuring both efficiency and speediness.
To discover how RFID benefits first responders, here 3 ways that the technology enhances their services.
1. Rectify inventory-management inefficiencies
When it comes to providing emergency services for critical patients, EMS personnel require that all of their equipment be readily-available, in serviceable condition, and be sufficient in stock. Since emergencies can occur at any second, minute, and hour every day, restocking and doing an inventory check is needed to be performed as swiftly as possible on a regular basis. The reason for this is evident since the sooner the crew and its vehicle become ready for redeployment, the more lives they can save.
To achieve this impeccable and speedy servicing, EMS services must forego the manual method and adopt technology into their operations management. And when it comes to asset tracking, RFID is undoubtedly the go-to solution.
By embedding RFID tags onto essential equipment and resources, such as IV bags, suction units, ventilators, and the like, personnel can use an RFID reader to quickly detect what’s inside an ambulance within minutes. Once they can identify what’s available and what isn’t, the resupplying process can occur more rapidly, reducing downtime and allowing staff to quickly respond to the next emergency.
2. Aid in monitoring of medical supply expiration dates & equipment maintenance
Besides having the necessary equipment on-hand, EMS crews must also make sure that the medical supplies that they’re using are still effective and within their expiry dates. Doing so ensures that when treating critical patients, the medicine they provide is still effective and safe for consumption.
On top of the medicine, an ambulance typically carries with it a myriad of tools and devices specially to cater for emergencies. Suction units, trauma/spinal boards, defibrillators, and KED devices are just a few of the life-saving equipment that is onboard. Just like the aforementioned medical supplies, their proper maintenance must be conducted on a timely and regular basis to ensure they are in compliance to fulfil their purpose when needed.
By simply adding another field of information onto these items’ RFID tags, a read can include the expiry date of these consumables and alert staff if certain equipment is due for maintenance or need to be disposed and replenished.
3. Management of EMS fleet location and their maintenance schedules
Ambulances are the core vehicles that allow first responders to arrive and tend to emergencies quickly. Thus, it is imperative that they be in good working condition at all times. Breakdowns, vehicular problems, and other preventable issues must never occur when transporting a critical patient. As such, by including these vehicles into the RFID asset tracking system, their maintenance schedules can be automated and improved, just like the equipment they carry. This dramatically reduces the chances of incidents from occurring during transit and affecting the service’s reputation.
The EMS service’s fleet management can also be upgraded with the help of RFID, allowing real-time location tracking when they’re out on the field as well as within the station’s premises. Since ambulances (and the equipment they carry) are crucial assets to provide service, an extra security layer should be considered.
With the benefits of RFID asset tracking becoming more recognised in varying industries, it’s no surprise that the medical sector would include this technology in their emergency services as well.