The SMART Cabinet - Enabling Smarter Inventory Management

21 Jun 2019

ST Healthcare’s aim has always been to bring value to our customers in the healthcare industry by having close partnerships with them and providing customised solutions through continuous innovation.

In the healthcare industry, it is important to ensure that the needs of patients are met in a timely and safe manner. This is especially so for hospitals, where the well-being of patients is dependent on how quickly medication or surgeries can be administered. Inefficient and mundane administrative work processes results in time wasted for nurses and operating theatres.

Traditionally, hospital staff would use forms to manually log the usage of surgical items and devices. This would typically involve staff keeping paper records of products and quantities that they withdraw from the inventory. This however is very time-consuming, subjected to errors and is not efficient especially in sensitive healthcare settings where time and accuracy is of the essence.

The Solution

ST Healthcare combined innovation and technology to track the usage of medical devices. A more efficient process for inventory management was created via the SMART Inventory Management System (SIMS), Smart Cabinet.

This highly secure storage system is powered by RFID technology, which provides real-time visibility of inventory kept in the cabinet. One of its key features ensures that only authorised personnel can access the system, ensuring that high-value items are kept safe. The withdrawal/return processes are made simple and quick as the authorized personnel simply keys in his/her unique ID to unlock the cabinet. All medical devices stored in the SMART cabinet are individually tagged with an Ultra High Frequency RFID tag, and the cabinet is able to detect the items removed or returned by nurses.

The improved visibility of the items and devices used has allowed ST Healthcare to study the utilisation of products, allowing for the calibration of Periodic Automatic Replenishment level of certain products inside the cabinet. This ensures that there will always be a minimum inventory level of products. Furthermore, with the inventory level of the cabinet being monitored in real-time, we are able to schedule automated replenishments of products into the cabinet, thus ensuring that a hospital’s inventory requirements are constantly met.

Hospital staff can now have more focus on their primary roles and not detract into inventory management and stock keeping.

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