Massachusetts General Shares Keys To Success at RFID in Healthcare 2012

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a 1,000-bed teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and recent recipient of the #1 ranking in US News & World Reports 2012 Best Hospitals is expanding its use of radio frequency identification for surgical supply & implant tracking.

Robert M. Sheridan, the director of interventional radiology spoke about the key decisions made by his team that resulted in Mass. General collecting approximately $1 Million of additional reimbursements from insurance companies at this months RFID in Healthcare 2012 Conference in Boston.

The Big Picture:

Bringing “Lean” philosophy to hospitals

  1. Moved from a “PUSH” to “PULL” based inventory, this includes leveraging FIFO (First in, First Out) & JIT (Just in Time) inventory management techniques.
    1. Streamlined Manual Workflows
    2. No more manual inventory counts
  2. Automated billing, reordering & documentation of medical devices & implant

Goals when deploying RFID technology

  1. Increase Charge Capture
  2. Interface with existing scheduling, materials management, patient billing & EHR systems
  3. Streamline inventory management workflows for staff
  4. Optimize On-hand inventory

Massachusetts General Hospital RFID Implementation: A Tri-Phasic approach

Phase 1:

  • Initial Deployment: January 2008
  • Getting a “win”: Focused on getting a “win” by successfully implementing  5 iRISupply units in one Neuro IR Suite.

Phase 2:

  • Expansion into a second IR Suite:  An additional 8 iRISupply units were added into a second IR suite
  • Peoplesoft (ERP) Interface:  Once users became comfortable with the RFID technology & the accuracy it was able to provide, Mass. General completed an interface to its Peoplesoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

Phase 3:

  • Integration with RIS (Radiology Information System) for patient billing automation
  • Interface with physician documentation

The Results:

  • Increased charge capture by over $1.2 Million (20%) over six months (On top of the previous barcode based system)
  • 8% Reduction in product expiration
  • 30% Reduction in clinical FTE’s related to inventory management
  • 70% Decrease in supply stock outs

For a detailed look at Rob’s talk, check out the follow up story on