RFID-Enabled Solution Tracks IT Assets At Illinois Air Force Base Medical Center

AssetPulse, a provider of RFID-enabled real-time asset tracking solutions, recently deployed its AssetGather solution at the 375th Medical Group, Scott Air Force Base Medical Center in Illinois. The Center will be using AssetGather to track IT assets. AssetPulse packaged its AssetGather software along with EPC Gen2 Passive Handheld RFID readers and Confidex’s tags, to enable rapid inventorying of thousands of IT Assets dispersed across two thousand rooms in various buildings. The primary objective was to implement an RFID-based system which would positively impact Scott AFB Medical Center’s ability to effectively and efficiently track their IT assets.

The Scott AFB Medical Center uses a large amount of IT equipment in its hospitals and pharmacies to help deliver medical and dental services to its beneficiaries. Even though organizations like the 375th Medical Group have a fair assessment of what assets they own, over a period of time, assets were getting moved and sometimes temporarily misplaced within the organization. This caused the required periodic audits which were manually intensive, to be very time consuming and potentially error-prone, as they involved manual reading of serial numbers and updates in spreadsheets or existing enterprise systems.

AssetPulse has deployed its flagship AssetGather product to address the inefficiencies and possible inaccuracies in the system. The web-based AssetGather software provides up-to-date asset and inventory reports by integrating with a range of automatic identification technologies. These technologies include passive, semi-passive, and active RFID, as well as bar codes. Tracking IT assets using RFID was a high priority project within the Medical Center, and as a preliminary step Scott AFB decided to use EPC Gen2 passive RFID technology with handheld readers.

In consultation with AssetPulse, a variety of passive RFID tags from different vendors were tried out by Scott AFB. The factors taken into consideration by Scott AFB included readability, type of mounting surface, and aesthetics. Aesthetics were especially important for the tags that had to be mounted on the mobile devices. RFID tags manufactured by Confidex were found optimal and were chosen for more than 90 percent of the IT assets. RFID tags were also used to identify the rooms, in order to increase efficiency of the scanning process. Additionally, AssetPulse developed special tools and processes, in consultation with Scott AFB Medical Center, to help streamline the process of tagging all the assets and locations.

“We are pleased that the Confidex Steelwave UHF EPC Gen2 Passive RFID tag was recognized as a leading performer by AssetPulse and Scott AFB Medical Center,” said Bill Compitello, director of sales at Confidex. “AssetPulse’s AssetGather software effectively leverages the performance of the Confidex Steelwave™ to provide Scott AFB Medical Center an exceptional overall solution.”

Apart from inventory scans and audits, the system will also allow the Scott AFB Medical Center personnel to perform physical searches of batches of assets when they are due for replacement at the end of their life-cycle. In the near future, the current system would be extended to track new locations and assets tagged with Active RFID, for real-time tracking of critical IT assets in selective areas within the medical center.

“We are very happy that the Scott AFB Medical Center chose AssetPulse products.” said Sujatha Bodapati, founder and CEO of AssetPulse. “It is heartening to see our customers leverage the benefits of RFID, leading to increased efficiencies and streamlining of their inventory processes.”

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