Healthcare facilities worldwide have been under tremendous stress due to the pandemic. Doctors, nurses, and administrators were compelled to mobilize and apply all resources available against the virus quickly. In doing so, they encountered a shortage of essential supplies like masks, ICU ventilators, and protective gowns.
As the nations are struggling to meet demand, the healthcare supply chain faces logistical problems across various cities, hospitals, production sites, and warehouses. How did such problems arise, and how can the IoT technologies help during such a critical situation?
1. Inaccurate Inventory Information
The experts providing RFID for inventory said the biggest issue of managing healthcare supplies stems from inadequate visibility into the hospitals’ inventory.
Owing to having a lopsided approach to technology, most hospitals boast top-notch devices but depend on legacy software to manage inventory, logistics, procurement, and other operations.
During the coronavirus peak days, software systems of renowned medical institutions experienced severe performance issues and even failed to store patient information properly.
Many hospitals did not know how many ventilators, masks, or gowns they had at a particular point or how much they needed. After finding that out, the next challenge was to share it with a reputed distributor or report it to the state’s or city’s authority.
Taking and sharing updated inventory data had to be carried out constantly if one wanted to optimize the relocation of scarce supplies across various parts of the hospital. The influx of inaccurate information was upsetting the planning efforts for hardly-hit regions.
It is natural to hoard supplies when a hospital cannot fully evaluate the level of trouble. But, if there is a shortage of supplies like ventilators in a specific hotspot, one cannot afford them to sit idle in a warehouse someplace else. Investing in IoT-enabled inventory management seems essential.
The price of smart tags is negligible compared to the cost of a massive box of masks, let alone state-of-the-art equipment. The tags can also store critical data in terms of destination, orders, and delivery designation.
3. Zero Innovation
Although innovations may never seem enough, the coronavirus crisis has brought a couple of distinct issues into the spotlight. Many countries could not increase production even when there was a shortage of essential medical supplies. Outsourcing is an integral part of global trade, but it does not mean one must forfeit the capacity to manufacture life-saving devices.
The experts offering quality RFID hospital asset tracking solutions said it is of great importance to develop high-tech manufacturing units and embrace innovations that can protect the countries during global emergencies. The best example is a well-maintained supply chain between the hospitals, factories, and logistics operators.
No one can ever be completely prepared for each crisis, but they must try bouncing back after receiving a blow. This is achieved through best management practices and powerful connections between parties. In the end, technologies make the healthcare industry competitive on a global scale and ensure prosperity at the darkest hour.