Loaner Loaner Where Are You

31 Jan

Solving Problems with Digital Solutions

Over the last few weeks, we've discussed how software can solve a number of issues in SPD and the OR with 2D barcode scanning and digital record keeping. We addressed how laser marked metal plaques can replace sticky labels, and how digital records replace pen and paper. Now, we focus on loaners, which play an important role in the modern healthcare system. Instrument sets are very expensive, and a healthcare facility doesn’t always have the budget to purchase them outright. This is especially true for highly specialized instrument sets, that aren’t often used. However, that creates a whole new crop of issues that can become fairly serious if loaners are not properly managed by a facility.

Developing Loaners, Our Core Competency

While many facilities contact us to organize and customize many of their most challenging and costly medical devices and instrument sets, not everyone is aware that Case Medical has been designing and manufacturing loaner and consignment trays for over 30 years. We also know the pluses and minuses of managing loaners and consignment trays. The biggest issue with loaners is surgery delays from sets arriving late. Delays are not only expensive for the facility and delay the OR schedule, but could also be dangerous for a patient who might be in urgent need of surgery. Also, SPD staff can be overwhelmed because they need to quickly find a replacement. Missing instrumentation is also a common issue found with loaner trays. A facility can also be charged for missing instruments that they may not be responsible for. Instruments that might have been missing all along and missed if not properly counted upon receipt. Further, there is no knowledge if the set has been cleaned properly beforehand. As you can see from the image at the right. Imagine trying to manage all of this with an outdated paper system. Paper can be easily lost or damaged and is not readily accessible when needed. There must be a better way to reduce these issues.

The Quest for On Time Delivery

Recently I visited several facilities where loaners were lined up in the halls with paper labels and documents waiting to be received, processed, and wrapped. We developed Loaner Locate to act as a digital tracking system for loaner sets. It tracks loaner sets from request, to receipt, to use, through the reprocessing cycle, and to return. Vendors can check in sets digitally and facility staff can verify a set’s contents with picture verification at receiving and return. Hospital staff can have a clear picture of their loaner inventory, the status of each loaner, and real time information of where/when/how the loaner set is received. Loaner Locate also has it’s own scheduling module that allows facilities to schedule loaner sets in advance of need. Furhter, Case Medical has developed Loaner Locate software for medical device manufactures, to track sets going in and out of the loaner bank to ensure they are being managed in the field. As with all Case Medical software systems, there is the ability to upload pictures, content sheets, instructions, and even video. Loaners can even be tracked using Case Medical's unique UDI.

Technology and Continuous Improvement

Technology has advanced so far and can do so much more to address common issues, like loaner management. Loaner Locate can reduce delays and cost, increase surgeon satisfaction, and increase patient safety. The software also provides protection and transparency that what was received has been returned and is ready to go for the next patient. Managing loaners can be a big mess because one needs to keep track of where everything is and where it is going, and conforms with the IFU. Loaner Locate provides a paperless sytem with powerful data visualization tools incorporated in the program. Simply take a picture of the set that has been received and the software will store it as a record that can be used to indicate if something is missing or incorrect upon return. All without the need for paper, in an organized system that is designed to codify and simply the loaner cycle. Schedule a demo with us at [email protected] to learn more. Also, visit us at booth 4213 at AAOS.

Visit us anytime at to learn more about our products and services. We are here to help. Case Medical is a U.S. EPA SAFER CHOICE Partner or the Year for Manufacturer Formulator and recognized in NJ as Innovative Manufacturer of the Year.

Kindest Regards,

Marcia Frieze and the Case Medical team

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