Tag ArchiveWhat’s New

ByGraham

The 2017 Annual User-Group Meeting

 

 

Yesterday’s Annual User-Group Meeting was a great success – thank you to everyone who managed to get there. The attendance was the highest we’ve ever had with users travelling from as far afield as Dublin and Truro, with a sizeable cohort from Scotland. The day was unusual, not only in the large attendance, but also with the exceptional weather and the varied mix of users. The meeting is usually predominantly attended by engineers but yesterday we had a planner/equipper, a nurse trainer and a contract manager.

A lot has happened since last year’s meeting. We have a new office in Stafford where Phil & Sarah are based, and they have been joined on the Help Desk by Jack Foulkes.

We started off with a review of the user-base. We had around a dozen new new customers joining us over the last year and e-Quip is now being used in over 90 hospitals.

Next, Graham went through the developments that were completed last year (in versions 3.5 and 3.6). You can see a full list here: http://www.e-quip.uk.net/blog/version-3-6-0-will-be-released-this-week/

Phil then did a presentation of the 2 new web applications: a completely revamped version of the ward users app and a nurse training & competence app that nurses and their trainers can use to update their training records. You can see a demo of the ward users app here. That will give you an idea what it can do but Phil’s presentation highlighted its flexibility, both in terms of how it can be configured for individual users and also in how it responds to being run on different platforms. It looks great whether you run it on a phone, tablet or desktop. One of these days I’ll see if I can get Phil to put up a blog article about it.

The nurse training & competence app allows virtually the same functionality as the desktop system, even down to being able to produce cross-tab TNA reports. Phil or Sarah will give everyone a link to a demo version as soon as they have published it, probably in the next couple of days. There were some useful suggestions from the floor about how training managers can be more easily identified for nurses based on work location, so we will be adding those into the system shortly.

The next presentation introduced the new interactive dashboard. First, the design goals were introduced. The dashboard is intended to be:

  • A reporting tool
  • A navigation facility
  • A KPI generator

Starting with PPM compliance we demonstrated each of these features:

First, the dashboard is a reporting tool. It shows similar data to other reports within e-Quip it just shows it in a more graphical way.

Second, the dashboard is a navigation tool. We can see above that there are 278 PPM compliant high-risk devices. Double-clicking on the gauge opens the equipment screen and shows those 278 assets. Similarly, when you move the mouse over the high-risk PPM non-compliance pie chart you can see that there are 43 high-risk devices which are more than 60 days overdue for PPM. Double-clicking on the red wedge in the pie chart opens the equipment screen and displays them. This applies to virtually every gauge, graph or chart in the dashboard.

Finally, the dashboard is a KPI generator. Whether 68% compliance for high-risk equipment (i.e. 278 out of 408) is good, bad or otherwise is determined by local policies. If you look at the gauge you will see that it has 3 sections:

Red: 0 – 33%

Yellow: 33 – 67%

Green: > 67%

Both the values and the colours can be set for each gauge (as you may well have different KPI’s for medium- and low-risk devices). This is done on one of the Settings screens.

Changing these setting won’t change the position of the gauge needle, but it will change the appearance of the gauge.

Having shown the basic idea we then went on to show all of the dashboard screens that we have created so far. Naturally these reports can all be saved as PDF documents. Click here for a copy.

There are too many to show all of them here (the PDF shows all of them) but here are a few samples to give you the general idea. Each one is configurable and can be used for navigation.

The new dashboard was extremely well-received by the users.

Next we went on to demonstrate the new procurement functionality of e-Quip which has been moved from the old e-Quip PM (Procurement Management) system. Having shown the basic ideas, Colette from Dublin then gave a presentation to show how she is using this new functionality in the new-build project at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire. We got some good pointers from Colette and will be adding her suggestions to e-Quip as soon as we can. By the way, Colette was the first ever e-Quip customer, back in 2009. This was when the only screens that e-Quip had were equipment, brand, model, category, location, site and service and provider. We’ve certainly come a long way, with your help, since then!

So, that’s it for another year. We ran out of time and didn’t get a chance to show all the other things that we have planned for this year. If next year’s meeting is as successful as this year’s, we’ll have to look for an alternative location.

 

ByGraham

Version 3.6.0 Progress

Here’s a brief update on what’s in version 3.6.0 so far. The release will be in the spring so we’ve got plenty more ideas in the pipeline.

Man-hours Report

A new report has been added to the Quick Report feature.  The report shows a row for each person, with each row containing:

 

Name
Days Worked in the Period
Total Hours Worked in the Period
Average Hours per Day
Week 1
Hours Worked Day 1
Hours Worked Day 2
Hours Worked Day 3
Hours Worked Day 4
Hours Worked Day 5
Hours Worked Day 6
Hours Worked Day 7
Week 1 Total Hours
Week 1 Average Hours per Day
Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

The hours are taken from Jobs (Technician Hours, Assistant Hours, Supervisor Hours) and also from Tasks.

manhours

If 0 hours have been worked then the column is displayed with a yellow fill.

If the average number of hours falls below the Target Daily Hours on the staff tab of the personnel property page, then the cell is displayed with a red fill.

Loan Consumables Screen

We needed to implement loan consumables very quickly and so initially we did this as reference data. This allowed us to record the issue and return of consumables with loans but prevented some of the features that we knew would eventually be needed. Most importantly, consumables weren’t able to support stock. We have now added a loan consumable screen to address this.

consumable

Job Couriers

We have added a new tab to the job property page to record details of up to two couriers.

courier

Contract Multi-Year Tab

Some additional fields had been requested for multi-year contracts and the financial tab was getting very full, so we have added the new fields and moved everything relating to multi-year contracts onto its own tab. It’s still a busy screen!

multiyear

Contract-Based PPM Scheduling

We have added an option to the Contract Visit Scheduler to allow all of the jobs that are created to be linked together into Projects.

schedule

The example above will create 2 projects as shown below:

projects2

Not only does this make the jobs easier to find but the projects are also a useful place to link documents associated with the visit (rather than with the individual jobs).

PPQ’s (PAQ’s)

Supplier and Model lookups have been added to the PPQ property page.

ppq

Roles

It is now possible to prevent users from clicking Show All Records on a per-screen basis. In the past this could be either enabled or disabled for the entire application. You could always make e-Quip give you a warning on certain screens but you couldn’t prevent a user from ignoring the warning.

warning

System Options

A new system option has been added to prevent loans for devices who’s PPM is due or overdue.

Training Events

A PO Number field has been added to the Training Event property page.

Competence Groups

A button has been added to the TNA tab of the competence group property page labelled Apply Policies.

cg

This resets the Required Competence Level for all TNA records for the competence group to match the model / staff grade policy (which is set on the model property page).

In the past, both the People and TNA sub-lists showed: Employee No, Staff Name, Grade, which made it difficult to sort those screens on surname. You will see above that the name is now displayed as: First Name, Middle Name & Surname, so it is now simple to sort on surname.

That’s about all so far. We’ll keep you posted as more features are added and as the release gets closer. As always, any feedback is always welcome

 

ByGraham

GS1 and Data Matrix Labels

With the increasing popularity of GS1 data matrix equipment labels seem to be becoming more common. GS1 doesn’t mean that you have to use data matrix but I suppose that moving to GS1 makes people focus on things like equipment labelling. GS1 allows you to use whatever symbology you choose, but data matrix is a very popular choice. It is now possible to print GS1-compliant data matrix labels directly from e-Quip.

The first thing to bear in mind when designing labels is that there are two main parts to the label: the bits designed to be read by humans and the bits designed to be read by machines. The human-readable part is there for your convenience and can pretty-much contain whatever you like, although there will be some GS1 rules about what must be included in order to be officially compliant.

The machine-readable component needs to encode the entire GS1 GIAI (Global Individual Asset Identifier). If you’re familiar with GS1 you will know that this is made up of several pieces:

GIAI Identifer – The fixed text “8004” which tells software that the data which follows is a GIAI.

GS1 Company Prefix – an 8 digit code assigned by GS1 which identifies your organisation. For example, the GS1 prefix for the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is 50552071

GS1 Sub-Prefix – An organisation is free to sub-divide itself into as many divisions as it chooses using a sub-prefix. The length of the sub-prefix depends on the size of the organisation. A length of 1 digit allows up to 10 sub-divisions (0-9), 2 digits allow 100, and so on. It is the organisation which decides the size of the prefix that they need.

Don’t confuse sub-prefixes with locations. In GS1 these are called GLN’s (Global Location Numbers)

The Equipment No – the code that your organisation uses to identify the device.

Putting all of these together gives you a GIAI: 8004505520710125452

This must be encoded into the machine-readable portion of the label, which is commonly a bar code or a data matrix code. You might also want to present some of this information in the human-readable part of the label.

dm1

Here’s an example of a GS1 data matrix label printed from within e-Quip. Note that the human-readable part of the GIAI has been formatted with dashes and brackets to make it a little more readable. The dashes allow the GS1 prefix and sub-prefix to be seen. In this example I have used the Addenbrooke’s prefix and assumed a sub-prefix length of 3. The original Equipment No is also included. The data matrix does not include any of this formatting – when you scan the data matrix all that is read is “8004505520710125452”.

Below you can see a real label from Addenbrooke’s. They use very clever labels with built-in passive RFID tags.

dm4

So, how did we print our label in e-Quip? You will probably be aware of the Microsoft Word reports which e-Quip can produce. Well, a bar code label is just a Word equipment report, albeit a very small one. There is an example from an earlier version of e-Quip below.

barcode1

How you design these reports is explained in the documentation. It is very simple and simply involves creating a Word document with mail-merge tags to identify which values should be taken from the database. This is what the document for the label above looks like.

barcode2

The item of text that says <<EquipmentCode>> is Word mail-merge field. The value EquipmentCode tells the report to replace this text with the Equipment No from the database (i.e. 25452). In Word the font for this text is set to “C39P24DlTt 20 point”. This is a free Windows bar code font. The way that this font works is that every character between “*” and “*” will be displayed as a bar code. It’s all fairly straightforward.

Unfortunately things aren’t quite so simple when it comes to data matrix. It’s not possible to format a data matrix encoding just using a font or to control its size by simply setting a font size. The Word extract below shows how to design a data matrix label.

dm3

I have used a Word table to help me lay the label out. There are a few things to notice here:

<<EquipmentCode>> – As before, this means “replace this text with the Equipment No from the database”

<<GS1_GIAI{32,32}$DM>> – This is a bit more complex:

GS1_GIAI – This is a database field name (just like EquipmentCode). You can see it in the e-Quip Column Chooser just like any other field. It contains the full GIAI for the device, i.e. 8004505520710125452. It is built dynamically from the Healthcare Provider GS1 Prefix and sub-prefix, with 8004 at the beginning at the Equipment No at the end.

$DM – Tells the reporting system that this is a data matrix code, not ordinary text

{32,32} – The size that you want the data matrix code to be

<<GS1_GIAIPreamble>> – This is another new field which we have added to e-Quip (and is available in the Column Chooser). It formats the first part of the GIAI into a human-readable format: (8004)-50552071-001

<<EquipmentCode>> – This appears a 2nd time to show the fully-formatted human-readable identifier: (8004)-50552071-001-25452

<<ProviderName>> – This is another field name to be substituted from the database. There are hundreds of fields available. For example you might want to add:

<<SerialNo>>, <<LocationShortName>> or <<ServiceShortName>>

How does the data matrix code get printed? As soon as the report processor spots the $DM marker in the Word document it calls an internal routine to create a data matrix image of the GS1_GIAI (read from the database) with a size read from “{32,32}”. It writes this bitmap to a temporary file. This file is then inserted into the Word Document.

We hope that you find this new functionality useful. As always, any feedback is always welcome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ByGraham

Managing Bulk Loans with the Pocket-PC

(For an explanation of loan delivery using the Pocket-PC look here). This article concentrates on the bulk issue of devices. Suppose for example that: Theatres request 10 T34 Syringe Drivers

It would be time-consuming to have to enter 10 individual loan delivery list items. Instead, clicking the Add Batch button on the Items tab of the Loan Delivery List property page will simplify this.

pda12

This automatically creates the following delivery list items:

pda14

The devices may be “picked” using the Pocket-PC as with any other loan and delivered in the same way.

It can also be useful to use this technique when issuing multiple devices to a single patient – just leave the model field empty and update the list manually after the batch has been added.

pda15

This adds the following items:

pda16

ByGraham

Managing Loans with the Pocket-PC

After a recent meeting of the Pocket-PC SIG (Special Interest Group) the process of issuing and collecting devices has been streamlined in an effort to reduce (or eliminate) paperwork. This post will deal with issuing loans. Device collection has not changed but I will post an article explaining that process shortly. Also, to stop this article from being overly long I will publish an article describing batch deliveries very soon (probably today).

In retail environments there is a separation between what is known as “picking” and delivery. Picking is the act of choosing the items to be delivered. The Pocket-PC Loan Manager application now supports both picking and delivery. When you order your groceries on-line the person who picks the items to satisfy your order is not necessarily the same person who delivers them.

The Loan Delivery List is at the heart of the Pocket-PC mechanism for issuing loans. A small library might create a single delivery list per day while larger libraries may create 1 per site, or 1 for each member of staff. The example below assumes that a small, single-site library is using a single daily delivery list.

1. Create the delivery list

This can be done daily and the list can be kept open all day with requests being added as they are received.

PDA1

2. A request from a ward is received

Janet Smith has requested a T34 Syringe Driver Driver and an Argus 708 Volumetric Pump for patient John Smith in Bay C in Holly Ward. The request is logged by Zara Page, who will be delivering the devices immediately.

Aside: Some libraries do nor record patient names, just Patient No’s. In e-Quip the Requested For field is used for both, so whether your enter John Smith or 1234567 is up to you. You also have the option of recording patients using an e-Quip patient records. This tends to be done by community libraries where patient addresses are required.

a). These requests are added to the Items tab

pda2

The fields completed are:

Request Date (Ctrl+H will enter the current date & time)
Requested By
Model (mandatory)
Location (mandatory)
Bed/Bay
Requested For
Delivered By

b). The librarian then clicks the Synch to Pocket-PC button

pda3

The delivery list is saved and the following screen is displayed. This allows the user to specify a) the location of the mobile database file which will be copied to the Pocket-PC and b) the loan requests which will be copied. Note that the default is to copy only requests linked to the currently logged-in user (i.e. Zara Page)

pda4

3. The librarian then takes the Pocket-PC to the library to select (i.e. Pick) the devices

When the Loan Manager application is first run the user must select his or her name from the first screen:

pda5

All outstanding loan requests are then displayed.

pda6

The librarian must then pick individual devices for each request. To do this he simply:

a. Taps on the request

b. Scans (or types) the Equipment No (Note that a GS1 bar code can be scanned)

c. Taps Save & Close

pda17

This is repeated for each device.

4. The librarian then takes the devices to Holly Ward

Suppose that Zara hands the devices to Sarah Brown, the Ward Clerk. To deliver both devices all that is necessary is to tap any one of the open requests.

Note: tapping a loan request which has no Equipment No opens the “picking” screen while tapping a loan request with an Equipment No opens the delivery screen. The 1st tab shows the location & patient details.

pda7
a. To deliver the device(s), tap on the Delivery tab

pda8

b. Enter Sarah Brown in the Accepted By field

c. Click Sign

pda9

d. Click Accept. This closes the signature screen and sets the delivery date & time field

e. Click Deliver All – this will deliver all requests for this Location, Bed & Patient

5. The librarian returns to the library

(After possibly continuing to other locations to deliver more devices). Before returning to the library the librarian may collect devices which are no longer required. The collection process will be described in a future article.

On returning to the library the Pocket-PC can be cradled and the loan information updated. This is done using the Sync Loans from Pocket-PC application. The loan below shows one of the 2 loans delivered by Zara Page using the Pocket-PC.

pda10

The synchronisation process also updates the delivery list to show that loans have been created.

pda11

ByGraham

Editing Templates

All e-Quip users probably know that job templates lie at the heart of the automated PPM scheduling mechanism. Broadly speaking, if a PPM schedule is a definition of a set of work instructions which need to be carried out at a specified interval, then a job template is the most common way in which the work instructions are defined. Job templates do have other uses but this is probably the way in which they are most commonly used. The basic idea of preemptive scheduling (see this article for more details) is that whenever a PPM job is completed e-Quip automatically creates a new job, based on a job template, for the next service. This type of scheduling has been a feature of e-Quip since its very first version and works very well, but …

What happens when the work instructions change? It is simple enough to edit a template using the Template Manager, but that only affects how future jobs will be created – what about all of the non-started PPM jobs that were created from the original template. Editing a template will not change these. If the changes do not affect sub-lists (i.e. parts, tests, tasks & checklists) then you must remember to bulk update all non-started jobs created from the template so that they match the new template. This is achievable but is quite awkward:

  1. Find all PPM schedules which reference the job template being edited
  2. Find all non-started PPM jobs for those schedules
  3. Bulk update the jobs to match the template

Sub-lists, however, cannot be handled this way. Suppose that job template defines a checklist with a step “1. Measure the gap between the battery support post and the casing. This should be between 1 mm and 1.5 mm“.  What would happen if the template was edited so that the value being measured changes to “…should be between 1.5 mm and 2.0 mm“? Job bulk update does support sub-lists but it is additive. If you specify a spare part in a job bulk update, that part is added to every job. The same applies to test equipment, tasks & checklists. There isn’t really any other way that bulk update can work. This isn’t going to help us here – we would end up with all jobs containing two checklist items:

1. Measure the gap between the battery support post and the casing. This should be between 1 mm and 1.5 mm

1. Measure the gap between the battery support post and the casing. This should be between 1.5 mm and 2.0 mm

2. …

2. …

3. …

3. …

Clearly not what we want!

As from version 3.3.0, whenever a job is created from a template a link to the source template is saved in the job. If that template is ever editing e-Quip will then look to see if any non-started, active jobs exist that were created from the template. If so, the following message is displayed:

template

If you click on Yes, then every job (10 in this example) will be updated so that all sub-lists exactly match the template.

Why are only sub-lists updated on the non-started jobs? Every one of those jobs will have an Equipment No and assuming that they are PPM jobs they will also have a job type, priority, planned date, work instructions etc. Some of these (job type, priority, work instructions etc) should obviously match the new template but quite  a few will be different for each job. This would include equipment no, planned date, budget, contract, customer and many, many more. These clearly should remain unchanged – or should they? It’s difficult to think of a situation where an equipment no would appear in a template (although I bet someone somewhere does have just such a template), but a job template referencing a contract is not so unlikely. Similarly, only rarely would templates include a Planned Date but there are situations when this might happen. This makes it virtually impossible for e-Quip to know how to deal with fields other than those which appear in sub-lists. There is no way for the software to determine if a field should be copied from the template (job type, priority etc), copied from the existing job (planned date, equipment no), or copied from the equipment record (contract, budget, customer etc- all of which may have changed since the job was originally created).

One approach would be for us to simply define some rules, such as: fields A, B & C are always copied from the template, fields P, Q & R are always copied from the existing job and fields X, Y & Z are always copied from the equipment record. Rules like this are never a good idea. They might work in some situations but not others and they seldom please everyone. For this reason we have chosen to restrict this feature to sub-lists only, which are, after all the reason that the feature has been added.

If you change the body (i.e. anything other than the sub-lists) of a template, then just use good old-fashioned bulk update to update the non-started jobs.

 

ByGraham

Coming Soon – 3.3.0 Feature Preview

Work on version 3.3.0 is well underway and having just posted an article about the library changes I thought I would give you an update about what has gone into the next version so far:

  1. Loan screen redesign
  2. Pocket PC loan auditor
  3. Support for Office 2007 xlsx & docx files
  4. Embedded documents as well as document links
  5. Two pictures on the model scree
  6. Two pictures on the spare parts screen
  7. Improved Nurse Training TNA report
  8. “Accepts Credit Card” added to supplier screen
  9. Service added to contract screen
  10. “Has Patient Data” added to model screen
  11. Customer added to Job QBE
  12. Decommission request added to equipment screen
  13. Life added to category screen
  14. Job Excel import improved. It can now be used to update as well as create jobs
  15. Test Software added to Reference Data Manager
  16. “Security Watermarked” checkbox added to equipment screen
  17. It is now possible to configure how many items can appear in the Excel column-filtering tick list before the message TOO MANY ITEMS appears
  18. Support added for 10 year contracts
  19. Auto-email support added to loans and refresher training

We plan to be releasing this version in the spring, so there’s plenty more to come. We will keep you up-to-date as things progress

ByGraham

Late-breaking Additions to 3.2

A few additional features have been included in version 3.2

Job Task Validation

Per-customer validation has been introduced for job tasks. Whenever a job is saved the SQL-Server procedure TaskValidation_RT is called, which in turn calls the procedure TaskValidation_RT_Local. This procedure can be modified to meet your local requirements and is not affected by upgrades. If a task is invalid then the procedure returns the text which will be displayed to the user and the job save is disallowed. If the task is valid then no text is returned.

Because, at the time that it is called, no data has yet been written to the database, all values are passed to the procedure as arguments. The supported arguments are:

TaskDescription
EquipmentId
JobTypeId
JobStatusId
JobCallDate
JobStartDate
JobEndDate
JobTaskNo
PersonnelId
Hours
JobTaskStatusId
JobTaskTypeId
TaskStartDate
TaskEndDate
HourlyRate
HourlyRateVAT
Billable
Mileage
TravelHours

KPI Report Options

For all of the reports which use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as templates, system options have been added to allow the templates to be held in the server location of your choice

 

TNA Property Page Red, Amber, Green Validation

Per-customer validation has been added to the TNA property page. The validation causes the traffic light to be displayed as either red, amber or green. Whenever any relevant data on the screen is changed the SQL-Server procedure TNAGetRAG_RT is called, which in turn calls the procedures TNAItemRed_RT_Local, TNAItemAmber_RT_Local and TNAItemGreen_RT_Local. These procedures can be edited to enforce whatever validation rules you require and are not affected by upgrades.

At the time the procedures are called no data has been written to the database and so all values to be validated must be passed as arguments. The arguments currently supported are:

RequiredCompetenceTypeId
AttainedCompetenceTypeId
PersonnelCompetenceStatusId
ModelId
TrainingDate
AssessmentDate
ReviewDate

Per-Bin Spare Part Prices

It is now possible to enter spare part prices for parts in individual stock locations. When a part is added to a job, if the part in the selected bin has a price then that value is used rather than the Effective Job Charge value from the spare part itself.

Note that per-contract markups/discounts are still applied

We hope to get 3.2 into beta next week and out on general release within a couple of weeks of that

 

ByGraham

Coming Soon – Version 3.2.0

Version 3.2.0 is about to be released. Rather than extract all of the new features into this article I have posted a PDF version of the documentation here. Have a look at the “What’s New in this Version” chapter.

To summarise:

1. Automated Email Feature

a. A new mechanism has been added to support the fully automated generation of emails. Currently, emails can be generated in the following situations:

Job creation
Job completion
Job lists

It is planned to extend this shortly to include other entities, such as loans, training expiry etc.

b. An Email Designer has been added to allow system administrators to design the auto-generated emails

c. A new user option has been added to control the ability to edit emails

2. Models

a. A new tab has been added to the model property page to record the competence policy for that model for each staff grade.

The policy defines the level of competence required and also the method by which that competence is to be achieved.

If the Auto-Update checkbox is checked then whenever a policy changes all competence groups affected are updated (i.e. the policy competence is copied to the Required Competence Level for each competence group).

b. Two new fields, Risk Likelihood and Risk Consequence have been added to the general tab of the model property page. These values are optionally inherited from the equivalent fields on the miscellaneous tab of the category property page.

There has been some slight cosmetic adjustment on this screen to accommodate this change

3. Competence Groups

a. The new model-specific policy competence level and method of achievement are displayed on the TNA tab of the competence group property page.

4. The Competence Matrix

a. The new model-specific policy competence level and method of achievement are displayed on the competence matrix summary screen.

b. The new model-specific policy competence level and method of achievement are displayed on the TNA property page

c. The new personnel fields Is on Maternity Leave and Is on Long-term Leave are displayed on the competence matrix summary screen.

d. The new personnel fields Is on Maternity Leave and Is on Long-term Leave are displayed on the TNA property page

e. The TNA property page has been reorganised to make it clearer which fields can be edited

b. The TNA Finder has been enhanced to allow all TNA records wherethe competence level achieved is lower than the model-specific policy competence level

5. Personnel
a. Two new fields have been added to the staff tab of the personnel property page:

Maternity Leave
Long-term Leave

This information is also visible on the competence matrix summary screen and on the TNA property page

Staff who are on either long-term or maternity leave are excluded from the training KPI’s

6. The Asset Finder

a. The Asset Finder (asset Query by Example) utility has been enhanced to improve searching for devices on contract.

A lookup has been added to allow searches on customer contracts and two checkboxes have been added. Ticking these checkboxes forces the asset finder to only return devices which are currently covered by the contract and not those which were on contract but where the cover period has ended.

A lookup has also been added to allow searching by customer.

7. Spare Parts
a. A new field, Site, has been added to the general tab of the spare part property page. This is intended to be used by multi-site organisation who manage spare parts on a per-site basis

8. Commission Requests

a. Two new fields have been added to the financial tab of the commission request property page:

Customer
Customer Contract

9. Decommission Requests

a. An option to force the removal of the device(s) from customer contracts has been added.

b. Support for this new option has also been added to the Role Manager

10. Equipment

a. A new lookup, Technician, has been added to the contacts tab of the equipment property page

Whenever a job is created for the device this technician will be copied to the job Technician field

b. A new audit trace has been added for Support Level. A shortcut to the audit viewer for this trace is available from the general tab of the equipment property page

11. Equipment Import

a. The asset import utility has been enhanced to allow support level and e-Quip Code to be imported.

In the Import Wizard the e-Quip Code field is labelled as Alternate Code since that is how most users refer to it, even though its original intended purpose is to hold the BOQ (Bill of Quantities) code from the e-Quip PM system

12. Equipment Categories

a. The Details tab of the category property page has been renamed to miscellaneous

b. The two risk fields on the miscellaneous tab of the category property page have been renamed from RBM Likelihood and RBM Consequence to Risk Likelihood and Risk Consequence

13. Jobs

a. A Patient field has been added to general tab of the job property page. When the Equipment No is selected then if the device is currently on loan to a patient then this field is set to that patient

b. A new field % Downtime has been added to the work done tab of the job property page. This is intended to be used by organisations who pay downtime penalties where a job may not incur the full penalty.

14. Training Courses

a. A link to a training certificate document has been added to the general tab of the training couse property page

15. Reference Data

a. A new reference data type, Competence Method, has been added to support competence policies. This is intended to indicate how a particular role or staff grade is to achieve a given level of competence.

16. User Options

a. A new user option Never Open Property Page after a Search has been added to prevent e-Quip from automatically opening a property page after a search if the search returns a single record

17. System Options

a. A new system option Reschedule as Floating after Missed PPM has been added to force PPM scheduling to float after a missed PPM.

b. Two new system options have been added to control how job bulk update affects job financial information:

Update Job Financials on Bulk Update
Update Job Part Costs on Bulk Update

Job bulk update normally has no affect on job financials but these options allow this to be changed

18. The Footprint Manager

a. The footprint manager has been enhanced to support Parent Site inclusions on the following screens:

Contract
Customer Contract
Loan

ByGraham

Coming Soon – Version 3.1.0

We are getting 3.1.0 ready to release, probably before the end of March. The same software will also be released as 2.16.0 for those who still need support for Windows XP Service Pack 2. More development has gone into the device user competence functionality following great user feedback. A user-specific dashboard has been added along with changes to the Pocket PC to allow fast issue and return of multiple items. There are some significant changes in this version, all of which were requested by users.

Here is the full list of changes:

1. Per-User Dashboard

a. The dashboard can now be configured on a per-user basis. This feature is available from the User Manager utility.

2. Equipment

a. For users with small form-factor devices such as Windows tablets, scrolling has been added to the equipment property page. The scrollbars (both horizontal and vertical) appear automatically whenever the full page will not fit on the screen.

b. A new field, Last Missed PPM Date field has been added to the technical tab of the equipment property page.

Whenever a job is changed to have a status class of Missed PPM this new field is set to be the current date. The field is not affected by subsequent completed PPM jobs.

3. Look For

a. The Look For panel has been modified so that whenever Excel-style column filtering causes any row to be hidden, the panel background becomes cross-hatched.

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This provides an immediate visual reminder that some data has been hidden and is more obvious than relying on the values in the status bar.

4. Simplified Microsoft Word Document Printing

a. To simplify the report printing process it is now possible to use the Report Manager to make a particular report the default for the current screen. To do this, run the Report Manager and click on the report. Next click the Properties button. A check-box is available which will set the report to be the default.

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b. If a default report has been set for the current screen then that report can be printed for all selected rows from the Print item on the context menu.

Note that the standard Windows hotkey combination for Print is Ctrl + P, which is recognised by e-Quip. However, in earlier versions of e-Quip Ctrl + P was used as the shortcut to show a property page. This has changed to Alt + Enter.

c. A new button, Print & Close has been added to the Office ribbon on the job property page. Clicking this button will cause the default job report to be printed and then the property page will be closed.

If a default job report has not been defined then the Report Manager will be displayed.

5. Query-by-Example

a. A Save button has been added to the following QBE screens:

  • The Asset Finder
  • The Job Finder
  • The Loan Finder
  • The TNA Finder

This makes it much easier to save complex filters without needing to use the Filter Wizard.

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b. Budget has been added to the Job Finder

c. The ability to search on child sites has been added to the Job Finder

6. Device User Competences

a. It is now possible to import competence records from Microsoft Excel. The import allows all TNA editable fields to be updated.

An additional mechanism has been added to allow a simplified approach to be taken where the spreadsheet simply records:

  • The person
  • The device
  • Is this person required to use the device
  • Is this person competent to use the device

The person must be identified using the Employee No field (which is equivalent to Assignment No in ESR). The device can be identified by either the model name (if it uniquely identifies a single model) or a combination of brand, model and category.

The responses to questions c & d may be any of:

  • Yes
  • Y
  • No
  • N
  • True
  • False
  • 1
  • 0

A system option is available to allow “Yes” to question c to be mapped to a particular required competence level. A similar option is available to allow “Yes” to question d to be mapped to a particular achieved competence level.

In the example below suppose that the User & Competent columns are mapped to Required Competence Level of User and Achieved Competence Level of User respectively.

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The import would set the TNA as follows:

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b. The competence group mechanism has been enhanced to make it simpler to move personnel competence requirement & achievement records from one competence group to another. Also, if a person is removed from all competence groups, their competence records can still be viewed from the personnel record.

c. Support for location-specific competence groups has been added.

It is now possible to link a competence group to a location and to control how personnel should be added or removed from competence groups as their location changes.

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If the “automatically add staff added to this location to this group” check-box is checked, then whenever a personnel record is updated and the person’s location is set to this value, then that person will be added to the competence group.

If the “automatically delete staff leaving this location from this group” check-box is checked, then whenever a personnel record is updated and the person’s location is changed from this value, then that person will be removed from the competence group.

Note that both of these options can apply to multiple competence groups. This mechanism supports personnel changes made by:

  • Editing the personnel record
  • Bulk updating the personnel record
  • The personnel import mechanism

d. The Certification Date field has been removed from:

  • The TNA tab of the competence group property page
  • The competence matrix
  • The TNA tab of the personnel property page

This field was originally intended to record the date that a certificate was awarded but this is not necessary as it duplicates functionality of the training event screen.

e. The TNA tab of the personnel property page now shows both records of competence requirements (generated from competence groups) and competence achievements that may no longer be associated with a competence group.

f. The TNA Finder has been reorganised, and new features added. It is now simpler to search for people whose achievements do match their requirements, and also competences which expire within a given time-frame.

The TNA Finder is shown above in section 5

g. A TNA property page has been added to the competence matrix

This means that it is now possible to edit these records without using grid editing. It also means that it is that it is now possible to link competence-related documents to a person/model combination. For this reason Quick Link has been added to the context menu for this screen.

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h. The Role Manager has been enhanced to allow administrators to control which parts of the TNA property page can be edited.

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i. A new field, Responsible, has been added to the general tab of the competence group property page to record the name of the person responsible for managing this group.

j. The following changes have been made to the competence matrix, the TNA tab of the personnel property page and the TNA tab of the competence group property page

Removed:

  • Certification Date
  • Effective Date
  • Refresher Due Date
  • Verified – now covered by Status

Added:

  • Declaration Date
  • Verification Date
  • Review Date
  • Alternative Review Date
  • Status (e.g. approved, rejected etc)
  • Professionally Registered (read from the personnel record)

The Review Date field is calculated as follows:

Maximum of( Declaration Date, Verification Date ) + Minimum of( Model Validity, Competence Group Validity)

The Alternative Review Date field may be manually entered if a different date is required.

7. PPM Week Numbers

a. e-Quip now uses ISO 8601 week numbers. Maintenance week fields can be found on the miscellaneous tab of the location property page, and the scheduling information tab of the PPM property page.

Maintenance dates are calculated from week numbers in several situations:
a.1. Commission Request: On selecting a location the maintenance week for that location is suggested as the first PPM date. In addition, if the location is associated with a PPM schedule then the user is asked if the new device(s) should be linked to that schedule.

a.2. Commission Request: On selecting a PPM schedule, the preferred maintenance week for that schedule is suggested as the first PPM date.

a.3. Asset Add New: If the user’s role setting of “Assign PPM Schedules by Location on Commissioning” is set and the selected location is associated with a PPM schedule then the user is asked if the new device should be linked to that schedule. The user is asked if the first job should be created. If so, the job planned date is based on the location maintenance week

a.4. Relocate & Reschedule the Selected Assets: When the new location is selected, if it is associated with a PPM schedule that schedule is copied to the Transfer To PPM schedule lookup. The maintenance week from the new location is suggested as the date for the first PPM.

b. When adding one or more devices to a PPM schedule using the Add the Selected Assets to a PPM Schedule utility, if the selected schedule has a preferred maintenance week the user is asked if that date should be used.

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8. Personnel

a. The training passport has been redesigned and now supports RAG (red/amber/green) conditional formatting

b. A new field, Training Manager, has been added to the staff tab of the personnel property page. This field is intended to indicate the person who is responsible for managing this person’s training records.

c. A new field, Professionally Registered, has been added to the staff tab of the personnel property page. This field can be used in conjunction with miscellaneous tab of the staff grade property page where professionally registered staff can be authorised to self-certify their competence.

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d. Four new fields have been added to the staff tab of the personnel property page to manage how Job and Equipment No’s are assigned when working with the Detached Client

Rather than allocating Job and Equipment No’s during the check-out process, each engineer can be assigned a batch of these which will be used whenever they are working remotely.

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9. Commission Requests

a. On the general tab of the commission request property page, a button has been added to allow an Equipment No to be auto-generated.

b. An Equipment Status drop-down has been added to the general tab of the commission request property page. When a commission request is first created the equipment status is set to be the default value for the current user’s role.

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c. On the additional items tab of the commission request property page the Add Batch button now has an option to either use system-generated Equipment No’s or to create a batch starting from a given number.

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d. A new Job Priority drop-down has been added to the technical tab of the commission request property page. This value is copied to any equipment records created from the commission request.

10. Decommission Requests

a. It is now possible to set the database actions on decommissioning on a per-role basis.

b. It is now possible to add multiple devices to the additional items tab of the decommission request property page from the asset summary screen.

c. The ability to click the Update Database button on the checks/authorisation tab of the decommission request property page is now controlled by a user-level permission.

11. PPM Scheduling

a. It is now possible to remove items in bulk from PPM schedules from the scheduled equipment summary screen. Select the assets to remove from the schedule and select Delete from the context menu.

Note: If you remove a device from a schedule in this way then any future PPM job for the device/schedule will be deactivated.

b. It is now possible to move devices from one schedule to another in bulk from the scheduled equipment summary screen. It is also possible to change the planned date of the associated PPM job if required. Select the assets to remove from the schedule and select Change Schedule from the context menu.

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c. On the scheduled equipment summary screen, Location and Site have been added to the Look In drop-down

d. Whenever the system automatically creates a new PPM job as part of the PPM post-processing, the estimated hours field on the work done tab of the job property page is set to be:

The estimated hours field for the appropriate model from the models tab of the PPM schedule property page, or
The estimated hours field from the general tab of the PPM schedule property page

12. Suppliers

a. A new field, VAT No, has been added to the financial tab of the supplier property page.

13. Sites

a. A site field has been added to the following property pages:

  • Contract
  • Customer Contract
  • Budget
  • Invoice

b. A new field, Job No Prefix has been added to the miscellaneous tab of the site property page. This field is used when creating a new job to force a site-specific prefix to job numbers.

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14. Jobs

a. For users with small form-factor devices such as Windows tablets, scrolling has been added to the job property page.
The scrollbars (both horizontal and vertical) appear automatically whenever the full page will not fit on the screen.

The screen capture below also shows the new Is Billable feature.

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b. It is now possible to force a warning if a job is billable. This behaviour is controlled by a new system option. If this option is set then the user is warned if a job is billable. This is recalculated whenever any of the following job values are modified:

  • Job Type
  • Equipment No
  • Customer
  • Customer Contract
  • Contract
  • Fault Type
  • Fault Cause

The function dbo.JobIsBillable() is called to do this evaluation. This function in turn calls the client-defined dbo.JobIsBillable_Local()

c. Two new fields: Travel Time and Mileage have been added to the tasks tab of the job property page. These fields are also shown on the tasks summary screen.

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d. If a job is created for a device whose location has the Job No Prefix field set, then that prefix will be prepended to the Job No.

15. Loans

a. A new lookup, Job No, has been added to the supplier tab of the loan property page. This is intended to link a job with a supplier loan if a supplier provides a loan device while repairing an item.

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16. Suppliers

a. A new tab has been added to the supplier property page to allow up to 5 additional contacts to be recorded. This is in addition to the personnel links on the contacts tab.

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This new tab does not require personnel records to be created.

17. Orders & Deliveries

a. On the general tab of the order property page the Date Raised field now supports both dates and times

b. On the general tab of the delivery property page the Delivery Date field now supports both dates and times

18. Pocket PC Synchronisation

a. Synchronisation to the Pocket PC has been modified so that you must login to e-Quip before data can be copied to the Pocket PC. The user account must have the Can Check-Out permission set.

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b. An option has been added to the synchronisation to the Pocket PC to allow only library devices to be copied. All personnel records where the personnel type class is Library Staff will also be copied.

c. Synchronisation from the Pocket PC has been modified so that it allows new equipment records to be copied from the Pocket PC. The reporting has also been improved with the ability to export to Excel both the data being imported and any errors which may have occurred.

19. Pocket PC Application

a. The Pocket PC application is now able to add new equipment records.

b. The Pocket PC application is now able to edit all equipment record fields.

c. A new tab has been added to the equipment detail page on the Pocket PC application. This is useful when carrying out device audits to record the various labels that may be attached to a device.

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20. Pocket PC Loan Manager

a. The Pocket PC Loan Manager application has been comprehensively revised to make it much faster and simple to issue multiple and return loans.

21. User Management

a. Previously certain tasks required that a user be an administrator. This was too general in that a user permitted to reopen closed jobs, for example, would also be allowed to create and edit user account etc. Several new user classifications have been added:

  • Role Manager
  • Audit Viewer
  • Re-Open Closed Jobs
  • Detached Client or PDA Check-in
  • Detached Client or PDA Check-out
  • The user can click Update Database in decommission requests

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b. A new tab has been added to allow user-specific dashboard items to be configured.

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c. On the group property page there is now a button to select all records

22. The Detached Client

a. The detached client check-out process has been significantly improved, greatly simplifying an engineer’s ability to work off-site.

In the past the check-out process worked by copying a database backup from the server to the laptop. This was a complex procedure and involved copying a very large backup file across the network. For large databases this was not practical. Now, check-out selectively copies data from the server to the laptop, optionally on a per-site basis. It is a much faster process and can be performed over relatively slower networks.

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23. Staff Grades

a. A new field, Professionally Registered Staff can Self-Certify Competence, has been added to the miscellaneous tab of the staff grade property page.

24. New System Options

a. A system option has been added to prevent missed PPM jobs (i.e. jobs with a Job Status Class of Missed PPM) from being edited.

b. A system option has been added to force the equipment status to be changed when an asset is reactivated.

c. A system option has been added to control whether the user should be warned if a job is billable.

d. A system option has been added to control whether the technician should be copied from a scheduled PPM job being completed to the new PPM job be created

25. Reference Data

a. A new reference data type, TNA Item Status has been added. This is intended to be used to record the validity of competence matrix entries. Currently two status classes are available:

  • Approved
  • Rejected