Many hospitals have implemented Vocera smartbadges throughout their campus in order to improve communication between employees. These devices have become ubiquitous in some of the busiest areas of the hospital to help improve collaboration and reachability. However, due to the sheer number of smartbadges in circulation at some hospitals, tracking and maintaining the devices has become a logistical nightmare.
Employees at most hospitals are trusted to properly take and return Vocera batteries as needed. Batteries are typically placed in chargers at the end of the work day, and taken in the morning at the beginning of the next day. Most hospitals employ an “honor system” to track the whereabouts of Vocera batteries, while others employ a pen and paper log to track movement. However, these systems do not put enough accountability on employees and do a poor job of reducing the shrinkage of batteries. Due to this lax oversight, thousands of dollars are spent on replacement batteries every year. Additionally, these lost batteries cost many hours of labor time per month in employees tracking down missing batteries and putting in orders for new batteries as they go missing.
What hospitals are missing to ensure a higher level of employee accountability is a system that will automatically track batteries as they are checked in and out of storage. To that end, Mobile Aspects recently released a specialized system to effectively track the movement of Vocera smartbadge batteries while providing a convenient charging station for employees. iRISupply RE uses RFID-enabled cabinets that automatically detect when batteries are loaded or removed. Employees can only access the batteries after logging in to the cabinet using their hospital ID badge, so all batteries they remove are associated directly to them. This allows hospitals to monitor which employees are misplacing the most batteries for accountability purposes and re-train employees as needed. The cabinets are also outfitted with battery chargers so the batteries can recharge while being stored.