Product recalls are never good news for a company's bottom line or reputation. During the manufacturing and distribution process, malfunctioning equipment or human error can often lead to serious consequences for companies and consumers alike, but careful use of mobile supply chain solutions can help companies avoid situations like the one faced by health care product manufacturer CareFusion.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced a Class I recall of CareFusion's AVEA ventilators, which are used in hospitals to support patient breathing. The company put out a global recall at the end of April, when it was discovered that some products might develop a failure mode over time that could lead to serious patient injury or death.
In instances like the one faced by CareFusion, it's crucial to review what could have happened during manufacturing or shipping to lead to this sort of issue. Manufacturing equipment malfunctions due to lack of maintenance and mishandling during shipping are only two possible reasons.
Companies should monitor equipment and product manufacturing processes on a regular basis to ensure complete government safety compliance. One solution to this issue would be to utilize barcodes and barcode scanning equipment and ensure equipment maintenance gets completed in a timely manner. According to a study published in Perspectives in Health Information Management, within the hospital itself, barcoding has been used to increase efficiency and service quality and decrease costs, and the same technique can be applied to suppliers of hospital equipment as well.
Barcode scanners help managers check the status of their fixed assets to better keep up with maintenance schedules and make sure equipment is functioning properly, and since these solutions are mobile, employees are able to quickly and easily incorporate the data into companies' ERP solutions.