South Florida Hospital News
Monday December 17, 2018
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November 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 5

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ScrubVAULT Monitors Inventory, Reduces Scrub Loss Through RFID Technology

Health systems are always looking to save money, especially on reoccurring expenses. One area that has always been problematic is the “borrowing” of scrubs—many of which never get returned.

“Scrubs are a source of pain for many health systems and surgery centers; people leave the facility with the scrubs on, or there’s not enough inventory, or vendors and staff can’t find the sizes they need,” explained Jay Juffre, vice president of operations and national service director of ImageFIRST. “It costs a lot of money to replace missing scrubs, and up until now, there’s really been no accountability. It’s a problem that administrators are tired of having to manage.”
 
In order to solve this problem, ImageFIRST decided to use UHF RFID chips to track and maintain scrub inventory. “Our clients were already using this technology to monitor hospital equipment, so it made sense to find a way to transfer its use to scrubs,” explained Juffre. “Using our proprietary ScrubVAULT hardware and software, clients can easily keep track of who borrowed scrubs and when they were returned.”
 
ScrubVAULT is a locker with a compact footprint that securely stores, dispenses and tracks scrubs. The locker opens with a scanned code that is unique to each staff member, allowing them to utilize scrubs tagged with safe, noninvasive UHF RFID chips.
 
“It’s easy to use and requires minimal staff training,” said Juffre. “Once it reads the code, ScrubVAULT walks them right through it. They just pick the right sizes, and they’re set. And unlike other scrub dispensers, a person can take two or three sets, so they have everything they need for the day. They don’t have to keep going back.”
 
Because ScrubVAULT keeps track of how many scrubs were taken, in what sizes, and by whom, it simplifies inventory and enables ImageFIRST’s Customer Advocates to efficiently stock supplies. “We are able to take a very proactive approach because this cellular technology gives us real-time information,” said Juffre. “If a customer is running low on scrubs or needs scrubs of a particular size, we can replace them before they run out.”
 
He added, “The ScrubVAULT system is unique because unlike other tracking systems, it doesn’t rely on weight, so the machine can’t be fooled. Each garment is unique to us, and each garment has a specific tag, so we know who took what and if it was returned.”
 
Juffre estimates that ScrubVAULT will save healthcare systems tens of thousands of dollars. “It is not at all expensive for the end user,” he explained. “There are no upfront costs, and clients just pay a low weekly rental fee. They’ll quickly see savings because of the accountability factor.”
 
ImageFIRST partnered with the University of Miami to get feedback on the system, which will launch early next year.
 
“We’ve been using ScrubVAULT for about six months, and it’s been great,” said Dalmis Boulandier, charge nurse at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our staff likes that they can choose individualized sizes, and we definitely have more control over inventory.”
 
ImageFIRST is planning to launch the ScrubVAULT system in three major U.S. markets in January, and plans a national product roll-out within six to nine months.

For more information, visit www.Imagefirst.com or call 1-800-932-7472.

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