Hospitals waste millions on portable equipment

Mobile medical instruments such as infusion pumps are woefully underused and are costing hospitals millions of dollars a year, according to a study by GE Healthcare.

The study found that devices like pumps, ventilator, telemetry units and monitors comprise about 95 percent of  a hospital's clinical assets inventory, yet are in use little more than 40 percent of time, according to an article in the July issue of  Health Financial Management Magazine .

Meanwhile, the cost of supporting such a device has nearly doubled from the late 1990s, from $1,656 to $3,144 a year, noted the article. And, according to the GE study, the number of mobile devices per bed has increased 62 percent since the late 1990s.

The trends are among the reasons why healthcare delivery costs so much, about 50 percent more than in other parts of the world, reported Michigan Live.

GE researchers recommended targeting specific devices for inventory reduction, but as part of a holistic evaluation that includes optimizing workflow processes and creating a replacement strategy for equipment that gets phased out.

To learn more:
- read the HFM Magazine article
- here's the GE Healthcare study (.pdf)
- read the Michigan Live article

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