What is Unique Device Identification ?
The healthcare industry is dedicated to one thing alone: patient safety. From the moment a patient enters a clinic or hospital, he or she should receive an expert level of care to keep them safe. This applies to the procedures or advice doctors give them, but it also applies to the many medical devices used in each facility. UDI, or Unique Device Identification, was implemented by the FDA and European Commission to help trace the millions of medical devices used in patient care. This allows healthcare companies to better manage their inventories and trace the products their patients use. However, efficient UDI means tracking millions of devices on a regular basis. This can be very difficult – if you don’t have the right tools.
The Benefits of UDI
Every time a patient uses a medical device, they have certain expectations about it. They expect it to be clean; they expect it to work properly; they expect it to help them heal.
While hospitals meet these expectations much of the time, there are always potential risks. For example, one in every 4-6 medical devices suffer from errors. Additionally, nurses may accidentally use expired or recalled devices, thereby putting their patients at risk.
UDI minimizes these problems by giving each individual device its own tracking barcode. By scanning this code, healthcare workers can see the product’s history, including when it was last used and whether it’s still usable. This can ensure that patients get the help they need.
Additionally, UDI can be a great benefit to the hospital itself. These barcodes make taking inventory much easier, which means facilities can order precisely what they need without excess. This will save money in the long run and help keep healthcare costs low.
The Challenge of UDI
UDI does have some significant benefits to both hospitals and patients. However, there is one major challenge: how are you supposed to capture all that data?
Each hospital can contain millions of barcodes, and manually tracking them is both exhausting and inefficient. Using a spreadsheet or log to track barcode numbers leaves the inventory open to human error (or worse,hacking), which could ultimately lead to trouble for both the facility and its patients.
The best way to capture medical device data is with a UDI Scanner. These devices can easily read each barcode and digitally store its data. This allows for easy tracing and inventory, as well as instant notification if the device is broken, expired or recalled. With UDI on medical devices – and a high-tech scanner to read the barcodes – the healthcare industry can become faster, more efficient, and safer than ever before.
Help Your Clients Improve the Healthcare Experience
If you work with any clients in the healthcare industry – device manufacturers, hospitals, etc. – UDI should absolutely be a part of your everyday work. UDI makes the healthcare experience easier and more efficient, as well as safer and better for patients! Contact us today to learn more about deploying UDI for your healthcare system.