It's not meant to!
Before I really get stuck into the question, I need to point out that the main benefit is traceability and that means saving lives.
Fundamentally, a tracking system is “best practice” and should be considered “the cost of doing business” for hospitals. I think justifying a tracking system because of financial benefits is a bad thing, but at the same time “it saves lives AND it is virtually FREE” is a great reason to implement a tracking system immediately.
How a tracking system will save you time...
“Time is money” and a tracking system will definitely save you a huge amount of time. Every example that follows is anecdotal. There is no research to give example numbers. Some issues are common and significant, while others may appear trivial. The dollar value for solving these problems is very site specific.
A huge amount of time is lost by theatre and CSSD staff searching for items. Often it is because it is overlooked in one department while another department has the task of finding it. A tracking system immediately identifies where it was scanned last.
For new staff, knowing what a tray is and how to process it can be time consuming. By scanning it and having all the information appear speeds up the learning process and avoids mistakes.
Identifying Part 2
With a clear label on the outside, all staff know what a tray is. They also know where it is to be stored, or who has requested it.
There are many reports that are now just a click of the button. Monthly reporting is reduced by hours or days.
Most facilities have a filing cabinet filled with count sheets. The time wasted finding the right one, photocopying it if it is the last one, and trying to keep it up to date is draining. With LTrace it is in front of them with the click of a button.
Trays with missing items can cause havoc during a procedure. LTrace ensures that there is a label clearly warning staff that an instrument is missing.
Photos and written instructions ensure that staff are trained rapidly, and reminded daily how to correctly process every item.
A workaround in many facilities is to manually write all the items in a sterilisation load. This can add fifteen minutes onto every single load.
With LTrace, the information is instantly available.
LTrace can be customised to help with administrative tasks. What problems do you have and maybe LTrace is the solution.
How a tracking system will make you money...
While “time is money” may be true, “money is money” is undeniable. Here are 3 ways that LTrace will earn money
Charge a patient or surgeon based on the items that are used, or at least know the true cost of every procedure.
Instrument hire fee
You know the cost price of a tray or instrument. LTrace can provide an accurate usage count, and you can estimate it’s life time. That’s everything you need to know to be able to charge patients a fee for “instrument hire” or depreciation.
Easily track sterilised items to external customers, and produce a monthly or ad hoc invoice.
How a tracking system will save your sanity...
When a tracking system is implemented correctly, it will not only be saving you time and money, but it eliminates stress. It gets rid of the stress of searching for hours for items, the stress of poorly marked items, the stress of time consuming reporting. For the bean counters, happy staff stay, stressed staff go.
For us, the true value in LTrace isn’t about the time we save, or the money you can make, but it’s about the difference we make in your day. If we can lighten your load with a tweak here or there, then that is pure gold.