Customer Spotlight: Mastic Beach Ambulance Company Success Story

This month, we want to highlight our customer, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.

Mastic Beach implemented our U-Cap-It solution and placed themselves in control of inventory. Now, they are able to save staff time managing inventory and significantly reduce costs associated with wasted and expired supplies.

With 90-100 staff members, the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company runs five ambulances and multiple responders and averages about 2,500 to 3,000 calls a year.

Prior to implementing the U-Cap-It system, Mastic Beach would run into problems with tracking of product on hand. This ended up being an issue when crews were coming back into the building to restock and there was no product left.

Though a few different software solutions were looked into by Mastic Beach, they found the U-Cap-It solution to be the best option. The cost savings implemented by U-Cap-It was a huge benefit for Mastic Beach. Implementing the solution allowed Mastic Beach to spend less time doing the manual count and paperwork needed to keep track of all the spreadsheets and physical inventory in their building.

“U-Cap-it was able to provide us with exactly what we were looking for.”

-Rich Tvelia, District EMS Supervisor, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.

When Mastic Beach needs to do a restock, whether something expires or is out of stock,  U-Cap-It is able to see exactly which ambulance vehicle needs the restock. Additionally, there are automated reports and instant notifications from the U-Cap-It website available to Mastic Beach to better track all of their equipment, certifications and product.

In implementing the U-Cap-It system, Mastic Beach was able to save up to $8,000 in the first year alone. Now that the system is in place, there is also continuing local technical and training support from IDS.

“I would recommend the U-Cap-It system to any other agencies in need of cost-cutting processes, ease of use, inventory tracking, and continued customer support.”

-Rich Tvelia, District EMS Supervisor, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.

If you’re looking for a better way to control inventory, save staff time managing inventory and significantly reduce the cost of wasted and expired supplies, consider IDS U-Cap-It solutions.

For more information about U-Cap-It, visit us here.

Watch the entire testimonial here.

Customer Spotlight: Columbus Fire Division

Columbus Fire Division

This month, we want to highlight our customer, the City of Columbus Division of Fire (“Columbus Fire”).

In an effort to cut down on waste and human error and improve tracking of the life-saving medications that fire paramedics use every day, Columbus Fire has incorporated the use of IDS’ UCapIt Controlled Medical Supply Dispensing Pharmaceutical machines.

IDS machines have been strategically installed in 18 of the city’s 34 fire stations and the City is hoping to install more machines as the system saves the City more money, says Columbus Fire Chief, Kevin O’Connor.

The UCapIt system catalogs the drugs stored inside, tracks their expiration dates to avoid dispensing expired products, and alerts supervisors if the department is running low on any drugs ultimately reducing the amount of narcotics lost to expiration.

“The UCapIt solution gives us a greater accountability across the board for all of our medications,” said Patrick Ferguson, deputy chief of training for the division. The cloud-based tracking system “tells us what machine it was vended out of and the paramedic that took it out of the machine.”

The convenience of 24/7 real-time data featured in our medical vending machines is a huge asset to Columbus Fire. “Instead of logistics people running from station to station to verify quantity, we can just check that online,” Assistant Chief Jim Davis said.

Because the department ordered drugs in bulk every month, before implementing IDS’ solution more times than not they would order too much to avoid the possibility of having a dangerously low inventory. Now, firefighters can order drugs in smaller quantities more frequently, restocking drugs based on system tracking of inventory.

“This way the supplies get utilized before the expiration date,” O’Connor said.

Also, previously, the department relied on sign-in sheets and locked storage rooms to store drugs. With the new system, Davis said, “we can see who is taking what out. If somebody takes four (of a certain medication) we can ask them why they took four.”

The neighboring Jackson Township, Westerville and Grove City Fire Departments already utilize UCapIt.

For more information about our vending machines, visit www.intelligentdispensingsolutions.com.

The Hidden Cost of Cheap Machines

 

You may be tempted to buy an inexpensive dispensing machine as a way to cut costs and bulk up your bottom line, but you’ll probably want to rethink this. Though they are tempting, cheap vending machines come with many hidden costs.

Most of these dispensing machines have extremely limited capabilities and limited  upgrade options making them cost more than they are actually worth. Helix machines (traditional candy bar-type dispensers with a coil screw holding the product) are designed for low-SKU count, high-turnover applications. These machines work well in applications where the facility is using a high-volume of few products but won’t work well for most other applications such as manufacturing floors or EMS facilities that generally require high SKU and low volume machines. Cost-per-bin of helix machines is significantly higher than industry leading machines due to low-SKU count capabilities. In short, if you are looking for a machine that will help you  distribute a variety of product, this isn’t it.

Additionally,  low cost machines have some generally unknown fees and costs. Most maintenance, repair and operations supplies have to be repackaged in order to work in a low cost machine. This can only be done manually and can be incredibly labor intensive!

Most importantly, these machines are typically seriously lacking from a software standpoint.

Technological capabilities helix machines are missing include:

  • First-In, First-Out technology
  • Inventory algorithms for their replenishment systems
  • Easy integration into suppliers’ backend ERP systems
  • Managing both consigned inventory and end user owner inventory
  • They rely on remotely hosted web servers and so have limited onboard memory as well as potential to crash when internet connection is lost

The distributors selling these cheap dispensing machines don’t inform customers about these high costs. Instead, they just pass buyers along to their price per unit for their tools and supplies.

On the other hand, industry leaders in distribution are moving rapidly to more sophisticated machines in order to keep their total costs globally competitive.

When you automate inventory management with an intelligent dispensing solution, you can replicate best practices and standardize business processes across your entire organization. The flexibility of our equipment along with iQ Technology offers an ideal asset management solution across almost any industry or application.  Equip your organization with the most seamless, technologically advanced inventory tracking system in the world.

Automated dispensing will lower your inventory costs and improve productivity while ultimately improving your organization’s bottom line.

For more information about our vending machines, visit www.intelligentdispensingsolutions.com.

Every Moment Matters

pharmaceutical vending

Getting What You Need When You Need It

Every moment matters in the medical field. The medical industry is growing and evolving and it’s now easier than ever for healthcare workers to get the medical supplies they need, when they need them.ESM and pharmaceutical vending machines are a game-changer for healthcare workers requiring access to care critical narcotics and EMS supplies.. Being both cost and time-saving solutions, these machines allow healthcare workers to access EMS and narcotics in compliance with access dual verification access protocol 24/7 which can be critical for the timeliness of patient care.

Solving Inventory Management Issues One Machine At A Time

One of the greatest challenges that today’s EMS professionals and pharmaceutical managers face is medical product management and security. IDS is putting the control back into your hands by providing a safer, smarter, and more secure way to accurately assess and track your employee’s usage.

The best way to reduce medical supply costs has little to do with the actual supplies themselves, but rather how they are managed. Through iQ Technology, our supply dispensers and supply lockers maintain controlled access to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, meticulously track inventory, and allow instant access to all records.

Isn’t it time to take control of your EMS and narcotics inventory while improving the level of care you provide to your patients?  Let IDS help you with your medical product management by controlling, tracking, and dispensing narcotics and medical supplies with an EMS and Pharmaceutical vending machine.

For more information about our pharmaceutical and EMS vending machines, visit www.intelligentdispensingsolutions.com.

The IDS System for Medical Supply Dispensing in Chesapeake

The Chesapeake Fire Department has implemented IDS’ secure, web-based system to dispense medical supplies for its team in order to increase their efficiency and decrease their tax dollar spend!

How does this medical supply vending machine work, and how much will it cost taxpayers? While the city invested $85,000 to get the machine up and running, it has been determined that this initiative could actually save taxpayers thousands of dollars in the long run. The machine’s supplies are accessed by employees through scanning their department IDs and choosing the dispensable item via keypad selection.

 

The department’s previous system of an open closet approach for EMS inventory management was far less efficient: crews got supplies after sending an email and awaiting new deliveries. Additionally, restocking was estimated and often inaccurate. There were countless potential delays. Additionally, there were excess fuel costs because crews could only get supplies from one central supply station, no matter where they were based in the city.

 

Now things have changed.

 

“The IDS system is going to prevent stations and employees from hoarding supplies and thinking they may need more, while really they need less,” says Chris Bergeron of BoundTree Medical.

 

The implementation of IDS’ system at Chesapeake Fire Department, three years in the making, helps speed up the process of getting supplies and helps keep up with costs. The system provides info that will allow the fire department to use tax dollars more efficiently. This year alone, Chesapeake crews had over 27,000 emergency calls, of which 76% were EMS calls where medical supplies are used.

 

Now, the new dispensing machines can also help identify what specific items are needed for different emergencies, further increasing efficiency and preparedness for medical calls.

Watch the full video feature on this exciting new wave of medical supply technology here, and be sure to visit the IDS website to learn more about our controlled dispensing technology.

 

Will-Call Automation and the UCapIt Inventory Management System

.

Vending systems and machines have, in the past, been viewed as a second-rate alternative to traditional store fronts. UCapIt has established vending services as an asset in providing life-saving medical supplies and equipment to emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on demand. Now, these same cutting edges advances in product delivery are coming to a pharmacy near you!

Do you know what your pharmacy inventory is today?

  • How many people have access to your pharmacy?
  • If you had an internal shortage problem would you know who accessed the pharmacy?
  • Are controlled drugs available to techs without the proper level of training?
  • Are your perishable items being used in a First In First Out manner?
  • How do you audit your Pharmacy Supplies today?

The Controlled Access Pharmacy or CAP allows EMS, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary and other medical professionals the ability to restock their units 24/7 and have real-time usage and Pharmaceutical inventory control tracking. The CAP EMS vending machine can check multiple forms of ID and will prompt for station or dispatch specific data. All withdrawals are cataloged, time stamped and regulated by tech clearance/training level.

The CAP aggregates all dispensing history and alerts for low stock position, expiring product and creates a pick list for restocking. It will generate individual call reports based on products restocked. This information can be printed or exported to your Accounts Payable/Receivable Software.

Technology has advanced, and now UCapIt can remove human error from the process, reducing mistakes and significantly speeding up the pickup process. In every pharmacy setting, from hospitals to chain pharmacies, installing new will-call vending solutions has reduced labor costs, improved accuracy, and cut wait times by nearly one-third.

Reducing Patient Infections using ScrubTrak: Vending for Scrubs

...

There is little debate about the dangers in-hospital infections pose to patients. The mechanics of managing these infections have evolved greatly from the time when doctors didn’t even consider it necessary to wash their hands when moving from patient to patient. With advances in modern hygiene and medicine, health care professionals are now focusing on one of the last bastions of contagion: improperly managed scrub uniforms worn by hospital staff.

The concept of wearing scrubs has some clear virtues: they’re easy to launder and also low cost to produce, which means they can easily be disposed of when contaminated. They’re also designed to allow medical care professionals to be easily identified. However, new studies in the US and the UK have shown that these same scrubs intended to reduce transmission of disease, in fact, can pick up and carry infectious agents from room to room or patient to patient. Because nurses and doctors may believe that having only limited contact with a patient does not expose them to disease, they may not be observing the correct level of safety and cleanliness protocols.

ScrubTrak and IDS’ scrub inventory management system provides the ideal solution. Having an easy stock of clean, contagion-free scrubs available at all times to the entire healthcare community encourages medical professionals to change as soon as they have any concern about carrying pathogens. Instead of placing an undue burden on staff to purchase, launder, maintain, and keep track of clean scrubs on a constant basis, having a medical scrubs machine on site shows that the hospital or care center values its employees–and its patient’s well being!

Large Item Dispensing Revolutionized

cap12locker1

Emergency medical professionals regularly need access to large costly items that an entire team shares. Oxygen tanks, medical toolkits, and emergency medical devices are all very costly, and improper storage of these items can wreak havoc on already financially strapped organizations.

The UCapIt locker and dispensing system handles large or bulky items that need to be check out and checked back in. We’ve heard from emergency medical professionals from across the nation, the need to have a central access point for all critical medical devices is unanimous across the board. That’s why we developed the locker dispensing system to help medical professionals keep track of expensive tools and equipment, that is easily accessed by those who are trained and qualified to use such devices.

Our CAP 12-Door Supply Locker Features:

Adjustable Back Panels – Size to fit each compartment for varying product depths.

LED Lighting – High visibility and high efficiency LED lighting option for dimly lighted locations.

Recharging Adapters – Charge and check out radios and other powered equipment.

Ideal for Single-Item Dispensing and Asset Management

There are several other ways that UCapIt CAP 12-Door large item locker vending machine can help emergency medical professionals. Be sure to look into this company and their unique vending machines to see how they can help you.

Scrubs May Be Contaminating More Than Expected

scrubtrak

A wake-up call has been rung for healthcare personnel around the world. A Duke Health study reports on the “transmission triangle” in a healthcare setting, between patients, the environment where care is administered, and the health care provider.

The study states that the germs in hospital rooms that come in contact with healthcare personnel can be spread far more than originally discovered.

“Any type of patient care, or even just entry into a room where care is provided, truly should be considered a chance for interacting with organisms that can cause disease.” said Deverick Anderson, M.D., the study’s lead author and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.

During the study, researchers collected cultures from the scrubs of intensive care unit nurses at Duke University Hospital. The samples were collected from new scrubs at the start of their shift, before interacting with a patient, and at the end of each shift.  

Analysis of the cultures found organisms on the nurse’s scrubs that were not present at the beginning of a shift, but were present at the end. The researchers then looked for those same organisms in the samples collected from patients and their rooms.

During the shifts considered, the researchers confirmed 12 instances when at least one of the five pathogens was transmitted from the patient or the room to the scrubs. Six incidents each involved transmission from patient to nurse and room to nurse. An additional ten transmissions were from the patient to the room.

Analysis of the study found the scrubs, particularly the pockets and sleeves, from the nurses were most likely contaminated, and had the ability to pass on bacteria beyond the healthcare setting. Following prevention strategies has to be a top priority for all healthcare personnel.

Contaminated linen, including scrubs and coats, have been identified as a source of large numbers of pathogenic microorganisms. ScrubTrak helps keep scrubs clean and control this risk in healthcare organizations by providing return units in key locations throughout the campus. Having multiple return unit locations ensures that employees do not have to travel far distances in contaminated uniforms.

Hospital grade laundering services provides a thorough, cleaning process that cannot be replicated in home washing machines and ensures scrubs are rid of infectious germs. Through automating the scrub management process for receiving and returning scrubs, ScrubTrak assists hospitals in complying with AORN’s recommendation for surgical attire to be laundered by a healthcare laundry facility to avoid the spread of infectious bacteria on scrubs of medical personnel who have patient interaction. By offering dispensing and return units for scrubs, and monitoring compliance through our real-time software system, hospital administrators can confidently comply with AORN. In addition, ScrubTrak’s return units allow for convenient and safe scrub pick-up by laundering staff.

The best way to get clean, fresh, correctly-sized scrubs, anytime? ScrubTrak, the easiest way to dispense scrubs, anywhere.

Scrubs: Streetwear or Not?

scrubtrak

When the public brings to mind the image of a medical professional, they have one of two outfits in mind: either a white lab coat or scrubs, usually blue ones. But when a medical professional is out of the hospital or lab, what are the implications of wearing the same apparel? Is it dangerous and, if so, to whom?

Wearing a white lab coat can signal that the wearer is a scientist, doctor, a pharmacist, or many other health professions – even certain educators. Scrubs are believed to signal that the wearer is in a job where he or she could encounter hazardous biological material, requiring disposable or easily replaceable attire. However, scrubs are often worn in professions where no biological material is handled, such as medical technicians, x-ray operators, dental and veterinary assistants, massage therapists, some secretaries in medical settings, physical and occupational therapists, and many others.

The two primary dangers of wearing scrubs outdoors of the requisite work environment are contamination and perception.  When someone wears scrubs outside of a hospital setting, they may unwittingly be perceived as competent to handle emergency medical situations, simply due to their garb.  

Since the media often portrays surgeons as wearing only scrubs–rather than the medically appropriate gowns and guards–there is a concern that those wearing scrubs could either be carrying contagions or be picking up contaminants that will then be brought into sensitive medical settings. Both situations are highly unlikely to be accurate.

The real reasons for wearing scrubs outside of professional settings are as varied as the wearers. Some may wear their scrubs out to impress strangers; others find them comfortable and convenient coverings, dispensed from a vending machine on site, like ScrubTrak. Many hospitals are now discouraging their employees from wearing scrubs outside the workplace, but exceptions persist, such as when a doctor’s own clothing has been impaired in some way. Ultimately, the practice of using scrubs as streetwear isn’t particularly dangerous, and is more of a personal preference.

The best way to get clean, fresh, correctly-sized scrubs, anytime? ScrubTrak, the easiest way to dispense scrubs, anywhere.