Many of you will know Simon who runs the Addenbrooke’s Medical Equipment Library. He manages an extremely busy department, probably one of the busiest in the country. Simon is a big fan of RFID asset tracking, and although the integration with e-Quip and the Harland Simon Discovery system has yielded enormous benefits he still finds that it is taking a lot of paperwork to run the library. Part of the problem is that the library staff work from paper delivery & collection lists.

Loan Delivery List

As soon as a clinician requests a device it is added to a daily loan delivery list. Depending on the urgency of the request the library staff will either immediately take the appropriate device to whoever requested it, or batch the low-priority requests together. Individual devices are then assigned to each request and then loaded onto a trolley. The librarian then goes out into the hospital to deliver the devices. As each item is delivered he or she records the name of the person that he gave the device to and the delivery time.

Eventually the librarian returns to the library and needs to create the loans that he has recorded on his route through the wards. This is quite a time-consuming process.

Loan Collection Lists

As the librarian tours the hospital delivering devices, he also collects any items that are no longer required, while recording who gave him each device, where they were and the collection time. When he returns to the library he then uses this information to close loans as appropriate.

Getting Rid of the Paper!

As of version 2.12.0 we have added Loan Delivery Lists and Loan Collection Lists to e-Quip. While this hasn’t completely got rid of the paperwork yet, as soon as we implement a PDA-based version of this, that will be the end of the paper trail.

The e-Quip Loan Delivery List

A librarian would create a loan delivery list to cover a given period. For busy libraries this would almost certainly be a single day, but for less busy libraries it might relate to a week. As loan requests arrive they can be added to the delivery list, recording who requested what and when.

When the librarian fetches a particular asset to satisfy a request, he simply amends the list.

Once the trolley is loaded and the devices delivered to the people that requested them, the librarian records who he handed the device to, and the delivery time. Now, on return to the library, all he needs to do is to enter this information into the delivery list: e-Quip will do the rest. The loans will be automatically created and updated to show who received the equipment and the delivery time. This is useful if you need to produce KPI’s which indicate how long it is taking you to satisfy loan requests.

Talking of loan requests; in effect the loan delivery list essentially replaces the loan request screen with an easy-to-use interface which is able to automatically create loans. Another benefit of using delivery lists rather than loan requests is that these lists allow multiple different devices to be requested, whereas loan requests do not support this.

The e-Quip Loan Collection List

The loan collection list is the logical inverse of the delivery list. A collection list is created, either for a day or week, depending on how busy the library is. As the library staff tour the hospital collection devices, all they need to record is a) the device they picked up, when they collected it and c) who and where they collected it from.

When they update the loan collection list with this information, the system automatically closes down loans, as appropriate.

Next Stop – PDA Delivery & Collection Lists

We are planning to implement loan delivery and collection lists on the PDA. When this happens (probably within the next two months), that will mean an end to loan libraries chasing paper.