Integration of Customized Wheelchair Tracking and Durable Medical Equipment's Solutions for Hospitals: A Continuous Quality Improvement Project

Anuoluwapo Owolabi *

University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: The purpose of the project is to design a model that will reduce the number of missing wheelchairs in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center; this will be achieved by designing a process to improve the tracking of wheelchairs at the clinical center.

Study Design: Qualitative.

Place and Duration of Study: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center between 2017 and 2018.

Methodology: A process flow diagram was designed to study the current process and identify areas of opportunities. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with diverse staff, including nurses and patient escorts, to identify system inefficiencies and barriers. Stakeholders were chosen for their roles and experience, enriching the root cause analysis. A fishbone diagram was constructed to ascertain the flow and direction of the problem being investigated.

Results: The study found that investing in Stryker TC wheelchairs significantly reduced the rate of missing wheelchairs at the NIH Clinical Center from 50% to 20% monthly. This resulted in substantial operational cost savings. The hospital saved approximately $200,000 annually in 2017 alone by reducing the need to replace missing wheelchairs, which cost $5,000 per unit. It was a good management decision to invest in Stryker TC wheelchairs that reduced the rate of missing wheelchairs from an average of 50% to an average of 20% monthly.

Conclusion: The study shows that investing in Stryker TC wheelchairs significantly reduced missing wheelchairs from 50% to 20% monthly. This led to $200,000 in annual savings by decreasing the need for replacements. Although the initial cost is high, the long-term savings justify the investment. The findings suggest that healthcare administrators should consider similar investments to enhance care delivery and operational excellence. This research highlights the effectiveness of innovative solutions in addressing logistical challenges in healthcare settings, facilitating more efficient patient care industry-wide.

Keywords: Wheelchairs, missing, tracking, durable medical equipment

How to Cite

Owolabi, Anuoluwapo. 2024. “Integration of Customized Wheelchair Tracking and Durable Medical Equipment’s Solutions for Hospitals: A Continuous Quality Improvement Project”. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology 43 (6):91-100.


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