FINANCE: A new electronic ‘tagging’ system for hospital equipment is helping a trust keep tabs on where medical devices are.

Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust has made savings of more than £60,000 by using the tags, which have a unique scannable ID. When a device in use on the ward is scanned its position is automatically sent to a central asset management database.

Wards could take up to eight hours to do manual audits of what equipment they had. The new system enables better tracking of devices which can then be moved around the trust’s hospitals to ensure they are available when needed.

The Harland Simon Radio Frequency Identification System Discovery asset tracking system is being used on more than 2,500 medical devices so far. The medical equipment library department handles around 42,000 devices, which go out for more than 185,000 loan days per year.