From Piecemeal to $2.7 Million in Savings
Most RTLS installations begin with asset tracking as the focus, and while PeaceHealth was tracking assets here and there (equipment like EKGs to support workflow automation in the ED or anesthesia carts in the OR), it wasn’t until a $500,000 grant was at stake that they began to utilize asset tracking to a greater extent.
PeaceHealth was eligible for the half-million dollar grant to provide headset devices to patients who had difficulty hearing. The headsets would allow staff to communicate with these patients more easily and provide safer, more satisfying care to a population whose needs were often overlooked. Getting the grant rested on PeaceHealth’s ability to track the devices and minimize loss.
The facility already had the Versus RTLS in place with an Enterprise software license. All PeaceHealth had to do was purchase asset tags for the headset devices. They won the grant easily—and haven’t lost any grants with similar requirements since.
Moving to Par-Level Asset Management
The next time PeaceHealth ramped up their asset tracking efforts, they did it in a spectacular way—by managing par levels in real-time. The results of this implementation far exceed any known asset tracking application in a clinical environment.
In fact, PeaceHealth saved $600,000 the moment the par-level asset management modification went live. Even more impressive is that they did this simply by managing par levels of only ONE asset type: IV pumps.
They calculate savings of $2.7 million over the next 10 years — on IV pumps alone — thanks to the Advantages Asset Management advanced par-level application.
Critical Success Criteria for Par-Level Management
Versus Asset Tags are affixed to IV pumps and other equipment. These tags accurately relay location information to workstations, Glance-and-Go™ virtual boards and mobile devices.
- Reduce IV pump fleet by 25%.
- Move to purchase model; eliminate need for IV pump rental.
- Make good on pump availability guarantee. ◦Nurses had to have complete confidence in their ability to find a clean IV pump where it was supposed to be whenever it was needed.
Here’s why they did it:
- They had more than 1,000 IV pumps to manage, and believed they could use Versus to bring this number closer to 700 IV pumps.
Management issues came to the forefront when pumps were under FDA recall.
- They were searching across 1.2 million sq. feet (three football fields wide, one football field long and six stories high).
Par-Level Management Investment
- Already had Versus’ Enterprise license
- Purchased tags for IV pumps from Versus
- Implemented par-level asset management
Result = $2.7 million in savings
- Significant costs related to renting and leasing IV pumps.
- Recognized that hoarding was occurring and pumps were not where they needed to be.
- Departmental pump “ownership” was a problem. Patients were sometimes taken off pumps so that the pump could be returned to the “owner’s” unit.
- IV pumps were considered part of “room set-up.” If they couldn’t be found, patient rooming delays occurred.
- Understood the relationship between pump availability, patient safety and satisfaction.
Here’s how they did it:
- Working with the Process Engineering group, the Center for Healthcare Improvement (CHI) and Distribution evaluated IV pump behavior throughout the hospital.
- Used simulation testing to analyze pump flow from where patients first and last used the IV pumps.
- Realized nurses in gateway areas (where patients come in) were always looking for IV pumps; meanwhile, the pumps would collect in discharge areas.
- Examined different storage models
- Contacted other hospitals to understand their distribution models: Pros and cons? Patient population vs. # of pumps?
- Centralized Distribution: Good model, but labor intensive.
- Decentralized Storage: Also a good model, but less control over inventory.
- Par-Level System: Hybrid of Centralized and Decentralized storage systems.
- Sought buy-in from every nursing unit ◦Nurses would play a critical role, so they had to be committed to the process.
- Convinced nursing staff with the promise that pumps would
always be available.
- Nurses were eager for a better process and maintained very
active involvement from planning to execution.
- Together, identified unit storage areas and set individual par levels for each area.
||10-Year Savings (anticipated)
||$100,000 - $250,000
Why it works:
- Versus provides the accuracy and reliability necessary to say definitively that a pump either is or is not in a very specific location.
- Knowing an IV pump’s general location is not sufficient.
- Administrators maintain control over par levels and can adjust them as needed, in real time.
- Versus provides par-level alerts in real time.
- PeaceHealth has separate alerts and actions for par levels, critical low warnings and high volume warnings.
- Alerts are sent through several mechanisms, including directly to staff mobile devices.
- PeaceHealth Internal Policy: Respond to critical low alerts within 30 minutes.
- Nurse participation. Nurses wipe down pumps and return them to clean storage.
- They quit hoarding because Distribution maintained its promise and pumps are always available.
- They experience less frustration, spend less time searching and can get equipment to their patients more quickly.
Sacred Heart Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals between Portland and San Francisco and a regional referral center serving as a Level II trauma center for an eight-county region. Key services for the nonprofit hospital include the Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute, Neurosciences Institute with a Gamma Knife Center, Gerontology Institute, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and specialized surgical services. Sacred Heart Medical Center has two campuses: RiverBend in Springfield, Oregon, and University District, located in neighboring Eugene, Oregon.