medical device tracking

Modernizing Medical Device Tracking

medical device tracking
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A global gastrointestinal endoscopy product manufacturer wanted to improve patient care by increasing visibility into its device-tracking workflow. Previously using a time consuming manual process to track endoscopes, the manufacturer saw an opportunity to automate its device tracking workflow and manage its devices at scale. As a result, the manufacturer partnered with AgileThought to design, develop and build an RFID-based application that tracks endoscopes at every stage of the workflow — from patient procedure to sanitization — in real time.

Client Challenges

  • Building a best-in-class application that adheres to strict healthcare industry regulations
  • Replacing a traditional waterfall software development process with an agile approach to create more adaptable and predictable delivery
  • Automating endoscope workflow tracking to create a better sanitization process, improve patient outcomes, save time, and provide greater end-to-end visibility
  • Improving data warehousing and trend analysis to enhance decision-making in hospital settings

Solution Delivered

Predictable Delivery with an Agile Approach

Previously, the manufacturer used a rigid waterfall approach that involved documenting all user requirements prior to starting software development projects. However, listing these requirements upfront made it difficult to alter or add features once development began — and the manufacturer needed this flexibility in order to adapt to evolving user demands and industry regulations. Instead of using a “requirements-first” approach, AgileThought provided coaching and training on agile practices — like using shorter development cycles (“Sprints”) and frequent feedback loops — to teach the manufacturer how to continuously iterate and incorporate feedback between releases. These agile practices, combined with daily testing throughout the product development lifecycle, ensured the application was built quickly, effectively, and in accordance to industry regulations.

Hands-On Co-Teaming Support

Following the success of agile coaching and training, AgileThought used a co-teaming approach to help the manufacturer design, develop and build the RFID application. AgileThought reassessed the application’s architecture — including rewriting core parts of the system to make it easier to maintain the application, identify bugs, etc. — while also providing expert support in UI design, development, QA, testing, agile coaching and business analysis. As a result, AgileThought helped the manufacturer go to market faster with a higher-quality product, while maintaining agile standards and adhering to healthcare regulations.

Modernized, Cloud-Enabled Platform

AgileThought helped the manufacturer refine its vision for the application and build a mobile friendly, cloud-enabled platform — using technologies like .NET, RFID and business intelligence tools — that simplified device-tracking workflow without sacrificing security. Additionally, the application offers dashboards that staff members can use to track medical devices throughout high-volume hospitals and provide real-time insights to the staff for better business decision-making.

Value Delivered

Faster, Real-Time Device Tracking

Historically, the manufacturer tracked endoscope workflows manually — relying on medical professionals to record the rooms, patients, medical professionals and procedural updates associated with each endoscope on paper. With this manual process, tracking device history required sifting through reams of records, posing a greater risk for human error and time delays that could impact patient outcomes. AgileThought helped the manufacturer automate this manual process by building an application that uses RFID tags and bar codes to easily scan and track devices at each stage of the workflow. This technology helped improve data and breach analysis, optimize patient safety, and enable medical professionals to search for a device’s history in a matter of minutes instead of hours.

Precise Competency Reporting

By tracking granular details — ranging from who last used a device to how long the device was washed — the new application can help the manufacturer identify opportunities for additional employee training. For example, if the application’s data shows that employees tend to wash devices for less than the recommended time, competency reporting can identify these issues and let the hospitals decide on a training course of action to be more efficient and follow safety protocols.

Insightful Decision-Making

Using data warehousing, the application allows the manufacturer to easily mine and track data to make informed decisions based on customer needs. For example, if data suggests that endoscopes tend to get backed up during the cleaning process, the manufacturer can suggest additional cleaning machines or staff improvements that will optimize equipment and time. By identifying trends in data, the manufacturer can play a more proactive role in helping hospitals run more efficiently

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