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Take Control of Your Scanning

Instrument tracking systems are not all the same; in fact, there are significant differences between them. The one constant is that they all have a predetermined scanning process that each manufacturer believes is best. In many cases, sterile processing departments never get beyond the basic platform design of their tracking system. It takes time to understand all of the ins and outs of each software package. Your employer spends tens of thousands of dollars each year to maintain and support your tracking system. It would be best if you used those dollars.

First, ensure proper training on the tracking system occurs, both on the user and management modules. Make sure the vendor spends time on all shifts and completes competencies for each staff member. Have them spend extra time with your management team. Just being able to track supplies isn't good enough. You need to know how to utilize the data in the system to make good business decisions. This is often lost on instrument tracking vendors.

Next, keep in contact with your customer support team. Continue to ask questions about using the system when you are not getting the information you need. Make suggesti0ns for change if you have to. In fact, demand changes when you need to. Each manufacture has the capabilities of customizing information for your use. If the system needs redevelopment to get what you want/need, ask for the changes to be implemented in future updates. This will not only benefit you, but it also may benefit many other users.

The scanning process is yours. Make sure each step in the process is valuable to your team. Inputs are not worth the process step unless they add value to your process. Wasted steps can cause lost time in hours & days of productivity each day and year. Customize your process so that it works for your team and your environment. One pet peeve I have is that some manufacturers act as if they own the data; they do not! Remove steps from the predetermined process that don't work for you.

Finally, make sure you have team members that attend annual training sessions held by your instrument tracking system manufacturer. Continue to further discussions about your needs at these events, both with the manufacturer and other attendees. Gather support from other users for the changes you need. Use those partnerships to leverage the manufacturer. Most of all, continue to learn more about your system and spend time with other attendees to see how they use the software to support their business.

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