Bring consistency – and efficiency – to your mobile equipment management with ProPAR

The availability of hospital equipment can be a self-propagating problem. It’s frustratingly common for nurses and other medical staff to discover the equipment they need to take care of their patients is not readily available. To ensure the items are always cleaned and ready to go, they choose to hoard the equipment. Those actions exacerbate the exact problems that prompt them, and the cycle begins anew. 

Hospitals can help solve this problem by establishing minimum thresholds for storage areas and initiating a process for replenishment. Still, these processes involve a lot of labor, requiring supply teams to check each room daily to manage equipment levels, which is logistically unsustainable. Cognosos’ new ProPAR product aims to overcome those challenges, allowing your hospital to proactively automate those processes and ensure that equipment is always cleaned and available exactly where—and when—your staff needs it.  

How ProPAR works to improve hospital equipment workflows 

ProPAR is part of Cognosos’ enterprise-wide, ultra-lightweight real-time location system (RTLS) that enables room-level accuracy without room-level infrastructure. Cognosos’ proprietary artificial intelligence location technology provides clinical and operations staff with unparalleled insight into the workflow of the hospital’s mobile equipment.

A hospital asset manager or RTLS administrator can set minimum PAR (periodic automated replacement) levels in Cognosos for individual rooms, such as clean and soiled equipment closets. Then, the manager or administrator can use the ProPAR dashboard to see in real-time what actions need to happen to ensure equipment is moving smoothly to support the hospital’s workflow. 

ProPAR provides three levels of alerts that match the colors of a stoplight:

  • Green zone: Room is comfortably at or above minimum PAR.
  • Yellow zone: Room is approaching minimum PAR and will need replenishment soon.
  • Red zone: Room has reached or gone below minimum PAR and needs immediate replenishment.

The manager or administrator can request replenishment when they notice a room’s level enter the yellow or red zone on the ProPAR dashboard. Cognosos can also be programmed to provide automatic notifications to the staff responsible for managing mobile equipment to alert them of the need, enabling faster response times. 

For soiled equipment closets, ProPAR can provide the same alerts, but for the opposite reason. Too much equipment can also threaten the availability of equipment for nurses and hospital staff. The manager or administrator can set a maximum equipment capacity for a room or other designated area of the hospital and provide these alerts:

  • Green zone: Room is comfortably at or below maximum capacity.
  • Yellow zone: Room is approaching maximum capacity and equipment will need to be moved and cleaned soon.
  • Red zone: Room has reached or exceeded maximum capacity and equipment needs to be moved and cleaned soon.

How hospitals can benefit from ProPAR

ProPAR’s most obvious benefit is what it provides for a hospital’s nurses and other clinical staff. They don’t have to worry or even think about the availability of equipment, because it’s always clean, ready, and where they expect to find it. But there are several other benefits to using ProPAR:

Reducing the risk of contamination: Hospitals are busy places, especially in this phase of the COVID pandemic. It’s common for mobile equipment to spill out of overfilled storage closets into hallways. This increases the possibility that some equipment will be used on another patient before it has a chance to be properly cleaned, which further increases the risk that the patient or a staff member could risk exposure to contaminants. ProPAR can help hospitals reduce this potential threat. 

Highlighting opportunities for savings: Hospitals want to have enough equipment, but they don’t want too much sitting idle all the time. If several clean storage rooms around the hospital consistently remain in the ProPAR green zone, that is an indicator that the hospital has more equipment than it needs and can choose to adjust the inventory to support other departments,  return rentals or sell surplus equipment, resulting in significant savings.

Increasing efficiency through automated “pick lists:” In a manual PAR system, staff responsible for replenishing equipment must physically visit clean storage rooms on each floor, make written notes of what equipment needs to be replenished in each room, go back to central clean storage to pick up the necessary items, then go back up to deliver them. That’s simply not efficient.  ProPAR can create on-demand restock picklists based on each clean storage room’s current inventory. Staff can receive these picklists via mobile device or use a printout. This allows staff to make just one trip per replenishment: between central clean storage and the floor-level clean equipment rooms. 

Tracking process improvements over time: ProPAR data are a key component of the quarterly and annual business reports Cognosos provides for hospital clients, allowing them to improve their processes through data insights. The goal is to see a decrease in the number of rooms in the red zone and an increase in those stabilizing in the green/yellow region with each quarterly report, and to pinpoint the areas that require renewed focus in the future. 

Why it’s time to focus on efficiency  

Hospitals can expect to be under a tremendous human resources strain in both the near term (with the current Omicron surge) and the long term (nurses, doctors, and hospital staff retiring or leaving the profession). Introducing innovations that increase not only staff efficiencies but also morale is essential for hospitals to maintain a high level of quality care for their patients. Cognosos’ ProPAR is exactly that kind of innovation, providing immense value to hospitals in this challenging time. To learn more about ProPAR or to see a demo of the Cognosos RTLS solution, please contact us today. 

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