Three ways RTLS can help reduce rental inventory expenses

Renting medical equipment plays an increasingly important role in helping hospitals manage  surges but too often staff are quick to rent equipment because hospital owned devices are difficult and time consuming to locate it. Hospitals struggle with equipment visibility and lost or missing equipment, leading to an increase in rental fees and a lack of visibility into how efficiently equipment, rented or owned, is being utilized.  

According to Agiliti Health, a medical equipment rental company, the average hospital equipment utilization rate falls somewhere around 40%.  Fortunately, real-time asset location technology provides hospitals with location information that can be used for more than simply finding equipment. The aggregation of the movement data from RTLS systems can unlock powerful insights and provide immense value, especially where rental equipment costs are concerned. Below are three tips on how to use RTLS to reduce equipment rental expenses and discover powerful insights about equipment utilization.

  1. Reduce equipment rentals through better utilization of equipment you own. 

While this may seem a bit obvious, many hospitals struggle to accurately track and understand how much time their owned and rented equipment is spent in use. Even more challenging is understanding its status when not in use. Is it being stored in the right area making it easily accessible? Is it being sanitized or maintained in a timely manner? Questions like these are nearly impossible to answer without having accurate and precise information on the asset’s historical location. 

By leveraging a real-time asset tracking solution, hospitals are able to capture detailed information on asset location, gaining visibility into equipment utilization, patterns of use, or bottlenecks in process. These insights enable hospitals to not only understand and optimize the use of their owned equipment inventory, but also to understand how their rental equipment is being used, and adjust rental inventory appropriately.

  1. Ensure that rented equipment is returned in a timely manner.

Misplacing rental equipment and continuing to pay daily rental charges for equipment not in use is a wasteful drain on your already tightening budgets. Real-time asset location enables staff to be alerted when rental equipment is no longer in patient care areas, if  stationary for a prolonged period of time and when the expected rental period is completed.   

Real-time asset location provides immediate information for every piece of tracked equipment within a facility, taking the guesswork — and legwork– out of the process, helping ensure that equipment is returned quickly and efficiently, while rental costs remain in check.

  1. Reduce the loss or theft of rented equipment and the charges that result.

Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon occurrence that medical equipment goes missing. While some of it may eventually turn up on eBay, the majority of it is never recovered, driving up expenses in two ways: 1. payment for rented equipment that was stolen and 2. as hospitals rent additional equipment to ensure they have sufficient inventory to meet PAR levels in light of the theft. 

For hospitals looking to implement a real-time asset tracking solution, it is critical that it have the ability to alert staff to potential theft, or indicate when a patient may have unintentionally wandered off with valuable equipment. Stopping loss or theft before it happens is the only way to ensure that equipment won’t need to be unnecessarily replaced. 

Real-time asset tracking from Cognosos is helping hospitals solve the challenge of locating inventory in real time, while providing powerful insights to unlock efficiencies and reduce costs.

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