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Managing medical equipment

Use GS1 standards to improve medical equipment information systems

Clinical engineering departments are increasingly responsible for the full asset life cycle. This includes total cost of ownership and importantly the management of outsourced contracts for a broad range of medical equipment including, walking aids, hoists, X-ray machines and fixed equipment in theatres.

Using GS1 standards with barcode and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology provides the management information and process controls to manage these assets more effectively. 

And using barcodes on assets, linked to the barcoded patient wristband, makes it easy to record which medical equipment has been used on which patients. 

This all leads to:

  • Improved asset utilisation
  • Better equipment maintenance
  • Reduction in time spent locating equipment
  • Improved patient safety 

Trusts who have already implemented barcodes have demonstrated a wide range of benefits:

  • Utilisation for Patient Controlled Analgesia Management (PCAM) devices doubled
  • Reduction in nurses time searching for PCAM devices – saving of £18,000 per year
  • Capital cost saving of £92,000 on mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors due to increased utilisation
  • Expected 10% reduction in all types of pumps held by the trust
  • Maintenance inspection rates for all devices at 99% of planned
  • Preventive maintenance for ECG monitors up from 57% to 90% of planned
  • Device location accuracy improved from 65% to 92%

Read our guidelines document (PDF) and learn how GS1 standards can be used to improve medical equipment information systems.

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How we can help

Our team of GS1 experts can help you implement our standards to help you manage medical equipment. Please get in touch or learn from the resources here.