Lives are put at risk when surgical supplies disappear from hospitals. Whether that’s a patient waiting for an operation, or a hospital suffering additional financial difficulties.
In 2015, one of the largest known thefts in NHS history was felt in Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine – as £1.3 million pounds worth of stolen goods were taken – by a hospital worker. According to the BBC, the thief used his access as a supervisor in the hospital to steal 136 pieces of medical equipment from the Central Decontamination Unit, a critical arm of the hospital, responsible for the sterilisation of medical devices ahead of operations. Ultimately, the culprit was sentenced to four years in prison.
This may seem an extreme example, but it illustrates the need for enhanced security in an hospital environments. To safeguard against this activity, healthcare organisations must use technology (which is readily available).
Hospitals experience fewer supply shortages and expired items when an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) is keeping watch over their inventory.
With Industore’s Hänel Rotomats and Lean-Lifts, all valuable inventory can be stored within an enclosed unit, under lock and key. Smooth action, lockable sliding doors protect surgical, and other hospital supplies from unauthorised access, as well as from dust and dirt. Password access, keycard swipe, barcode scan or RFID reader options can provide further protection, depending on the client need. This added security reduces the burden to the taxpayer, since items will not need to be replaced as frequently as a result pilferage. Moreover, costs are reduced by mitigating issues caused by cross contamination and inventory mistakes.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems in Healthcare
HänelSoft in the healthcare sector
The HänelSoft inventory management software allows hospitals to track surgical supplies with a complete audit trail, essentially providing a fingerprint for each transaction. The system clearly shows who removed supplies from storage, in what quantity and when it occurred – offering full transparency of goods throughout the product lifecycle. In addition to enhanced security, vertical storage units are designed to significantly reduce the space necessary for storage, providing a much smaller area to secure. Their ergonomic access points mean better staff health, because employees do not need to risk injury by reaching, bending or climbing for supplies. All of these benefits translate into greater productivity, allowing the hospital teams to be more efficient in their tasks.
Industore’s latest Healthcare Brochure
Industore already has a large portfolio of healthcare clients all over the UK and Ireland. Take a look at some of the real-world applications.