How to Manage Inventory Without Barcodes or RFID Tags

There is no question that Radio-frequency identification or RFID technology and barcoding have significantly improved the entire field of the healthcare industry’s supply chain. RFID technology provides real time traceability for easy visibility while barcoding can maintain accurate record keeping with easy access. Healthcare facilities around the world house billions of dollars of medical equipment, each with its own unique size and shape. However, not all of these assets can be labeled with a bar code or tagged with an RFID tag.

WebOps believes that all healthcare inventory should have the same level of streamlined, efficient management, no matter if there’s a barcode or RFID tag attached. That is why we teamed up with VisiTouch.  Decades of experience in the healthcare supply chain gave the founders of VisiTouch great insights into the inefficiencies in handling non-sterile implants and instrument sets.

Historically, handling and managing these items has required deep knowledge and expertise, both in the specific channels – Spine, Trauma, Craniomaxillo Facial, etc., but also in the specific product lines within those channels.  Developing that expertise required years of training and practice.  By creating an image-based tool to compare the tray or set being processed with a picture of what that particular tray or set is supposed to look like, VisiTouch allows new operators to work faster and more accurately than an operator relying on years of “tribal knowledge”.

Users start by logging into their WebOps account and accessing the “check-in tag” section. Once the kit ID number is set, our system automatically publishes all product information including a picture of the kit. Once accessed, the next step is to hover over the part in question to manage each instrument’s information, including its Quantity On Hand and location. This makes managing your inventory easier than ever with increased visibility and immediate data capture. Users are also able to set each kit to automatically reorder when stock is low and set alerts to notify of any expired or soon to be expired inventory. This can be a game changing resource, especially when dealing with highly customized inventory that needs extra accountability.

   

As time goes on more experts are predicting the increase in demand for customization of medical devices. In fact, Globenewswire reported “According to a recently published Fact.MR report, the global 3D Printing Medical Devices market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 14.5% between 2022 and 2032. The market is expected to reach US$ 11.5 Bn by the end of 2032.” This growth is largely driven by the need for customizable medical devices that match the needs and body types of each individual patient. The responsibility to track these individual instruments from supplier to manufacturer to consumer can be a daunting task that many hospitals are expected to undertake more frequently. Not to mention the carrying cost to maintain these products can be much higher than your average inventory. With this new technology professionals can track a multitude of instruments within sets from any location. The ability for every stakeholder to log in from anywhere in the world and see the real time status of each instrument is invaluable.

Whether in the OR or in the warehouse, the accessible, immediate and accurate data needed to successfully manage inventory is required to achieve optimal returns. These past two years have highlighted multiple supply chain issues, especially in healthcare. We aim to help professionals in the field fill in these holes and cut human error with this easy-to-use inventory tool.