Author: Jeremy Linden, Sr. Director of Product Management, Asimily
Capital planning for medical devices can be a challenge for any healthcare delivery organization. Without a way to track usage, HDOs are often flying blind and have no way of independently knowing whether more devices are actually needed. Asimily Insight helps solve this problem by providing detailed information about where, when, and how connected medical devices are being used.
It is helpful to start by defining utilization. A device is being utilized when it is being used for patient care or being prepared for a procedure. If a particular type of device has very low utilization, it could indicate that the HDO has too many of those devices, and doesn’t need to acquire any more. Conversely, if a device type consistently has very high utilization and clinicians are facing a shortage of availability of that device type, that indicates that the HDO needs to buy more.
Let’s walk through a possible scenario to see how Insight can help make these decisions easier. In this scenario, the nursing leader of a department or unit requests more infusion pumps. Is this really needed? To answer this question, you can look at Insight’s utilization summary for infusion pumps for that department or unit. If the utilization percentage is high, this is a good indication that more devices are needed. If it’s low, this is a sign that something might be off.
Further investigation can be performed by using Insight to look for the percentage of used devices in the same time period. While Insight tracks the average utilization of all devices across the entire day, the percentage of used devices looks for devices that have been used at all, even if just for a short time period. This number should generally be significantly higher than total utilization, since most devices should be used at least once in a day, even if they aren’t being used all the time. If there are a significant number of devices that are unused for days at a time, they could be lost, tucked away in utility or supply closets, or misallocated between different departments. Instead of spending additional money buying new devices, the HDO may be able to simply re-allocate them differently and meet the need with underutilized existing devices. This dynamic view across all departments and facilities allows the HDO to employ demand-driven reallocation, enabling greater capital efficiency than was previously possible.
Utilization tracking can be useful for other purposes, such as scheduling maintenance. By tracking usage throughout the day or through a time period, HTM personnel can see when devices have low utilization, enabling them to perform maintenance when it is least disruptive. This ensures an evidence-based approach to developing a maintenance strategy where there is minimal disruption to patient care delivery. You can also leverage utilization data for an Alternative Equipment Maintenance (AEM) program. Asimily’s utilization statistics will help justify deviation from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommended maintenance activities and intervals. For example, if a device type has been used sparingly and changing parts only increases wear and tear, the utilization statistics provide a rationale to alter the frequency of OEM recommended maintenance.
With a real-time view of capacity and demand, the HDO can make better use of the devices they already have and reduce capital expenditures. Using utilization data to schedule maintenance as needed also can reduce operational expenditures. Try out Asimily Insight today and discover a better way to manage your medical devices.