US Med-Equip’s RFID-Enabled STAR Trax Asset Management System Solves Inventory, Utilization and Purchasing Challenges at Baptist Hospital of South East Texas

HOUSTON (Jan. 8, 2013) – US Med-Equip installed its STAR Trax RFID-enabled asset management system at Beaumont Baptist Hospital in Texas and has received industry accolades for the system’s innovation from sources including hospital directors and industry publications such as RFID Journal and 24 x 7 Magazine. Most praise STAR Trax for being a cost-effective RFID solution for hospitals looking to efficiently manage their inventory, increase equipment utilization rates and improve their clinical staff’s productivity by lessening the time it takes to locate equipment.

After participating in a live simulation of STAR Trax at Memorial Medical Center in Lufkin, Texas, Roy Bush, Beaumont Baptist Hospital’s director of materials, said that he was impressed that the Lufkin hospital was able to achieve an equipment utilization rate above 80 percent –well above the industry average of 40-45 percent.

“STAR Trax appealed to us because our goal was to find a solution that would allow us to track hospital equipment and keep periodic automated replenishment (PAR) levels for various locations,” said Bush. “We recently spent $1.5 million purchasing new IV pumps and, with such a significant investment, we wanted to mitigate the chances of losing that equipment and having to rent additional pumps. We can maximize our equipment investment, thanks to STAR Trax.”

Prior to implementing STAR Trax, both Beaumont Baptist and Memorial Medical Center used manual systems for tracking assets and found that a manual system does not produce consistent results. Some hospitals have deployed costly real-time location systems (RTLS), which show an asset’s Pac-Man-like journey on the hospital floor plan. In addition to expense, these systems generally require significant installation, ongoing maintenance and heavy involvement of hospital’s IT staff.

“We’ve considered equipment tracking software before, but the cost has always been prohibitive,” said Bush. “A standard active RFID or RTLS setup would probably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and, after learning about STAR Trax, it just made sense to use the more cost effective passive RFID system,” he added.

Bush explained that watching assets move around the hospital in real-time has very limited value. He said that what is most useful is identifying and easily locating equipment that is potentially missing.  “The RFID technology of STAR Trax lets us track and locate hospital equipment on an as-needed basis, simply and efficiently.”

US Med-Equip’s information technology director, Mike Pandher, explains that other benefits of STAR Trax include better patient care and increased productivity of the clinical staff, which previously spent up to 40 percent of their work hours looking for equipment. The system allows the hospital to perform safety recalls and preventative maintenance quicker.
“Hospital executives tell us that STAR Trax is offering added benefits beyond improved asset management and higher utilization rates,” said Pandher. “Increased productivity leads to increased nurse involvement, which yields better patient outcomes and fewer incidences of hospital-acquired infections.”

Hospitals are seeing increased productivity among staff, which helps the hospital achieve higher patient satisfaction scores and reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.”

With STAR Trax, purchasing directors can also make more informed decisions by knowing exactly how much inventory is already on hand and how often typical par levels are unmet, Pandher added.

“STAR Trax is more than just a system that reduces the amount of lost or stolen medical equipment,” said Greg Salario, co-founder and vice president of business development for US Med-Equip. “We combined US Med-Equip’s knowledge of industry best practices with innovative technology to develop STAR Trax as a system that yields hospital-wide results that improve patient care and improve the bottom line. It’s exciting to see both the hospitals in Lufkin and Beaumont receiving support from the clinical staff, materials team and c-suite executives.”

US Med-Equip is continuing to develop STAR Trax, adding capabilities based on requests from current clients, Salario added. Later this year the system’s tracking ability will expand to include wheelchairs and remote telemetry units.

With 12 offices in six states, US Med-Equip is the largest medical rental company in the South Central United States, and was ranked for the second consecutive year on the annual Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing companies. To learn more about US Med-Equip, visit usmedequip.com.

About US Med-Equip

Ranked in 2011 and 2012 by Inc. Magazine as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies, Houston-based US Med-Equip is an innovative healthcare company specializing in the rental, sales and service of movable biomedical equipment for high acuity medical settings.  Widely known for its 24/7 personalized attention to customer needs, US Med-Equip offers flexible options for managing biomedical equipment rentals and purchases, maintaining equipment and providing hospitals equipment tracking technology for enhanced asset management. Value-added customer services include equity options, flexible payment options, online account access, proprietary equipment management software and other advanced information technology solutions. Dedication to patient care and to promoting the healing process is at the core of the US Med-Equip culture and drives daily operations focused on quality healthcare solutions from its 12 offices in six states.  For more information, visit www.usmedequip.com.