Managing Job Processing
There are several role options which define how jobs will be processed for members of that role, most of them can be found on the Job/Quick Job tab of the Role Manager when a role is being edited, although I have already covered in Part 2 the basic job rules which are configured on the Options tab.
In this post I will skip over the Quick Job settings and go straight to the important stuff.
This section is probably straightforward; you can choose a default job type, status and priority for all jobs created via the user-interface (i.e. not created using Save As, templates etc).
Hide Caller Details
At the bottom of the General tab of the job property page there is a section to hold a lot of detail about the caller. This might be useful for roles which have a lot of interaction with non-hospital users, such as midwives, sommunity nurses etc. If you are not interested in this information then it can be turned off, as shown below.
Above is is the job property page with caller details shown, and below is the same screen with them hidden.
Default Call Date
This option specifies how the call date is displayed when a job is created. You can either have no date (useful if you have secretarial staff who retrospectively add jobs to the database, or you can choose the current date, both with and without a time component.
Date / Status Relationships
These options control how various date fields should respond to changes in status, and how the job status should respond to changes in dates entered. The 1st 3 control how the status should change when various dates are entered. The last 2 control how the dates should change when the status changes.
1. When a job start date is entered, set the job status to: I think this is self explanatory. Very commonly users will want the job status to change to something like ‘In Progress’ when the work start date is entered.
2. When a job finish date is entered, set the job status to: Often users will want the job status to change to ‘Completed’ when the work finish date is entered.
3. When a job close date is entered, set the job status to: Very similar to option 2 above but relates to the closed date.
4. Set work start date when job started: If a user changes the job status to ‘In Progress’ it is a very common requirement that the work start date should change to be the current date (unless it already has a value). This option turns this behaviour on and off, and allows you to specify whether you want just a date, or a date and time.
5. Set work end date when job finished: Similar to 4 above. Commonly, if the job status changes to ‘Completed’ users require the work finish date to be set (if it doesn’t already have a value).
In the next post I’ll explain how the Office 2007 ribbon can be configured.
Part 2: Modifying System Behaviour using Roles
In Part 1 I discussed how the appearance of E-Quip can be customised using roles. This article describes how the behaviour of the system can be fine-tuned. There are a great many features which can be configured. This article will cover only those which are not self-explanatory. The best way to find out more is to run the Role Manager, edit a role, then have a look and see what you can do.
Running the Role Manager
You run the Role Manager from the Integra Tools menu (Start – Programs – Integra – E-Quip AM – Tools – Role Manager). You need to log on as an administrator before you can view and edit roles. As soon as you log in the first thing you will see is this message:
The definition of a role includes all of the screens, columns, menus etc that role members can see. If a system upgrade adds new screens, menus etc then existing roles are going to be able to see them. Usually after an upgrade one of the first things we do is to run the Role Manager and answer “No” to this question; the Role Manager then adds any new features to the existing roles. This means that you can always answer “Yes” to this question, i.e. skip the check.
As soon as the Role Manager opens you will see a list of existing roles along with buttons to add, edit and delete roles. This is all pretty self-explanatory.
Let’s select a role in the list and click “Edit”, or click “Add New Role” if there are no roles in the list.
These are all found on the Options tab. The fragment of the Role Editor below shows the basic configuration options. Note that ticking (or checking) a check-box enables a feature for members of the role.
a) Clear Filters: Allows users to click Show all Records on every screen.
b) Bulk Update: Allows users to use Bulk Update to modify multiple records in a single action.
c) Persist Filters: This is an extremely useful option. If enabled then every time that a filter is set then it is recorded in the Windows registry. The next time that you run E-Quip these filters will be automatically re-applied so that on all screens the first thing that you see will be what you were looking at the last time you ran E-Quip.
d) Duplicate Assets: Asset replication is a feature designed to simplify the process of adding multiple similar assets to the inventory. For example, if you take delivery of 50 Portanebs, then you can create 1 with its acceptance job, first PPM, contract link etc, then ask the system to create another 49.
e) Spare Part Auto-Order: This is a feature of the spare parts order screen. Once you have selected a supplier, then Auto-Order will find all parts for that supplier which are below the minimum stock level, and will generate order line items to take each back up to its target stock level.
f) Restrict Technician by Team: When a job is created the team is copied from the equipment record. This option restricts the technicians that can be selected for the job to be only those in the same team as the asset.
g) Show Column Chooser: If this is not set, then users cannot change the columns that are displayed. This option is normally enabled. You would only turn it off if you want to give a specific set of columns to a particular role and don’t want them to be able to change them.
h) Close Jobs: Closing a job will permanently lock it. If this option is not set then the users will not be able to change the job status to one of closed. Remember that there is a difference between finishing and closing jobs. The former simply indicates that all of the work has been completed, while the latter means that all subsequent administration, invoicing etc has been done.
i) Close Invoiced Jobs: If this option is checked then whenever the status of an invoice changes to Disptahced (i.e. it has left your organisation), then any jobs linked to the invoice will be closed so that they cannot be edited.
j) Hide Inactive: If this is checked then members of this role will not be able to use the F6 facility to display inactive records. If this option is not set then by default inactive records will be hidden, but they can be displayed at any time if the user presses F6 and then refreshed the screen.
k) Hide Labour Sub-Costs: On the job financial details, many users are only concerned with technician and total labour costs, and do not wish to see the breakdown of costs for assistants and supervisors. This option enables or disables those additional cost fields.
l) Allow Code Unlock: Normally, once a record has been created its code field is locked to prevent it from being inadvertently changed. If a code must be changed, then pressing Shift + F12 will unlock it if this option is enabled.
m) Maximum Records to Display: No summary screen will display more records than this value.
n) Number of Records to Prefetch: Some screens, notably those which seldom contain a large number of records, such as Site or Healthcare Provider, automatically prefetch data so that users do not need to enter any search criteria. This is effectively equivalent to automatically clicking Show all Records when opening the screen. It is unlikely that this value will need to change.
o) Maximum Equipment No Length: The purpose of this is to prevent users from accidentally entering long equipment numbers. If a user accidentally creates an asset 123456, then all subsequent assets will be numbered sequentially from this value, which can cause problems. This most commonly occurs when users copy and paste from one field to another.
p) Maximum Job No Length: Similar to above.
The system will either warn when the job rules are transgressed, or will prevent jobs from being saved. The rules are:
a) Any job must have work instructions
b) An “in-progress” job must have a start date and a technician
c) A “finished” job must have and end date and work done
If the “Enforce these Rules” option is set then jobs which do not satisfy these criteria cannot be saved.
By default, when users log in the first screen that they will see is the Domain screen. This can be used to open several copies of the other screens. If the single screen option is set then the Domain screen is not displayed and the system opens at the specified start screen.
In this context, “Single Screen” doesn’t mean that the users can only see 1 summary screen. In the example above this does not mean that the only screen that can be used is the equipment loan list. Double-clicking within the Domain screen shows the main system form which has an Office ribbon to allow the user to switch between summary screens. Users can do this as many times as they choose, thus opening up multiple screens, each of which has an Office ribbon. By enforcing single screen operation, only 1 main screen can be opened, but this still allows other summary screens to be selected using the Office ribbon.
That’ll do for Part 2. The next installment will look at how you can configure the job processing behaviour for roles.
Part 1: Intoduction to the Role Manager
This is the first in a series of articles about how and why to use the Role Manager. This is a big subject, and although it’s not particularly complex there is a lot to cover – one of the key features of e-Quip is the numerous ways in which it can be customised. For this reason this topic will be presented over 3 or 4 separate articles.
Your are probably all familiar with the concept of user groups; to use e-Quip you need a user account, and each account is a member of a single group. The group defines the attributes which all members of the group share. These are:
a) Item Permissions
b) Data Footprint
Every data item in e-Quip is protected by a permissions mask. This can be any combination of: Read, Write, Add, Delete and Control. Note that links between items are also protected in the same way. Jobs, for example, have a permissions mask, as do spare parts; but importantly the ability to link spare parts to jobs is controlled by its own mask. In order to add spare parts to a job a user must have at least the following rights:
a) Jobs: Read + Write
If you can’t read jobs then you won’t be able to see the job, if you can’t edit jobs, then you won’t be able to click “Unlock” on the job property page.
b) Spare Parts: Read
If you can’t read spare parts then you won’t be able to choose any parts to add.
c) Spare Part Job Link: Read + Write + Add
If you don’t have at least read access then the spare parts tab will not be displayed. If you don’t have add rights then the template row at the bottom of the parts grid will not be displayed, and if you don’t have edit you won’t be able to make any changes to a row in the grid.
Your account’s data footprint defines which parts of the database you can see. Having read access to jobs, for examples, means that you can display jobs. Your footprint, however, defines which jobs you will be able to see. Footprints allow different groups of users to be able to see different parts of the database. In this way, Renal data, for example, can be made invisible to X-Ray users (and no, I don’t mean that you can’t see through renal equipment with x-rays!), and vice-versa.
Differences between Groups and Roles
Roles are used to control the appearance and behaviour of the system. Roles apply to one or more groups. Suppose that your database has data for three hospitals; the engineers at each site might only want to see equipment for that site, in which case, three separate groups would be required, each with a different footprint (but probably the same permissions). However, if you want the system to appear and behave the same for all of them you would create a single role and add all three groups to it. In this example you might have the following groups:
Engineers – Barts Hospital
Engineers – Royal London Hospital
Engineers – Newham Hospital
Engineers – Whipps Cross Hospital
And a single role:
Some of the appearance-related features defined by a role include:
a) The configuration of the Office ribbon
b) Default grid layouts for each screen
c) The tabs which are visible for each property page
d) Hidden & locked fields on the equipment & job property pages
e) The menus which are visible on every screen
f) The visible dashboard items
Some of the behaviour features controlled by roles are:
a) Default equipment & job status values
b) The relationship between job status values and dates (and vice-versa)
c) The actions taken when decommissioning devices
d) Base filters (filters that a user cannot remove)
e) Access to bulk update
f) … and much more besides
Role Appearance Settings
Using the Group Manager to deny a group read access to a data item does not by itself actually hide the screen that the item is displayed on. For example, if a group has no read access to the Medical Device Alert screen, that screen will be visible, but it will always be empty for members of the group (since they do not have permission to see device alerts). If users could still see all of the screens that they had no access to the e-Quip user-interface would be very crowded and confused. Similarly, not having delete rights on a particular screen does not by itself remove the Delete menu for that screen. One feature of roles is that they simplify the user-interface by hiding things which are not relevant.
The most common items that are hidden are:
Office Ribbon Items
Property Page Tabs
Configuring the Ribbon Strip
The Microsoft Office ribbon is made up of tabs which contain groups, which in turn contain icons. Sometimes these icons are referred to as controls or tools.
In the example below the ribbon tabs are: Inventory, Work, Equipment Library, Training and Device Alerts.
Within the Inventory tab the following groups are displayed: Inventory, Product Information, Print, Searching & Selection and Grid Options. Within the Inventory group the following tools are displayed: Assets, Decontamination History and Leases.
If the members of a role did not need to be concerned with invoicing then that tab could be hidden. This would in turn hide all groups and tools within that tab. Alternatively, if a collection of users did not need to see the Product Information group, then this too could be hidden, which would also hide the tools within that group. Finally, if the users needed to see assets but not decontamination history and leases, then these individual controls could be hidden.
The example below shows a customised ribbon.
This is relatively straightforward, but some information about how menus work is useful before you start. Firstly, E-Quip has two menus:
a) The Application Control Menu
b) The Context Menu
The first of these is shown by clicking the application icon, which is the circular icon at the top left-hand side of the ribbon. Context menus are invoked by right-clicking the mouse anywhere within the grid.
Each menu has 3 different sets of options, depending on the number of records that are selected in the grid. Cleally, if nothing is selected, then Delete, Properties and Save As will not be visible; if a single record is selected then Save As will be visible, but if multiple records are selected then it will not.
This means that for each screen there are 6 possible menu configurations. The example below shows 2 versions of the same menu.
Configuring Property Page Tabs
It may be the case that some property page tabs might not be relevant to certain users; perhaps they can see job technical data but financial information might be of no interest to them. Hiding property page tabs is extremely simple, but remember that the first tab (often called General or Details) of all property pages cannot be hidden.
Shown below are 2 versions of the loan screen.
That’s enough for now. The next article will discuss how roles can be used to control the behaviour of the system.