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RFID Helps Hôtel-Dieu d'Amos Replenish Consumables

The Quebec hospital is using a system with passive HF RFID tags linked to specific medical supplies to request replenishment of those items.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 11, 2011Canadian hospital Hôtel-Dieu d'Amos reports that it is employing an RFID-enabled solution provided by Logi-D to help it manage its medical supplies. The hospital has not released information regarding the specific benefits that it achieves from using the system; however, according to Logi-D, the technology is expected to reduce activity related to nursing supply replenishment by 50 percent, and inventory levels by 20 percent.

In addition to automating replenishment orders for consumable medical supplies, the system helps the facility ensure that supplies do not expire before use. Since being installed in February 2011, the solution has been helping the hospital track approximately 1,400 items at any given time, according to Jacquelin Labonville, Hôtel-Dieu d'Amos' operating room head nurse.

Hôtel-Dieu d'Amos, a 96-bed hospital located in Quebec, sought a system to manage its usage and automate the replenishment of consumable medical supplies used by nurses and physicians. These include needles, gloves and approximately 1,400 different types of small items utilized in medical procedures, totaling about 8,000 objects.

The hospital's main objective is to reduce the amount of time that its staff spends managing inventory, ordering supplies and waiting for those goods to arrive after a bin has been emptied. Just as important is ensuring that supplies are used before reaching their expiration date.

Prior to the RFID installation, Hôtel-Dieu d'Amos employed a periodic automatic replenishment (PAR) inventory-management system to keep tabs on its inventory levels. Based on average usage, the facility established a targeted quantity of each item that must be kept on hand, in order to support daily operations for a certain number of days. In addition to observing targeted replenishment dates based on PAR levels, material-management personnel performed daily rounds to count the number of items consumed. This effort to ensure that no supplies ran out, however, often led to overstocking.

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