Go Paperless: Moving from a Manual to Electronic Tracking System

Many medical instruments are reusable, which has made tracking them through the sterilization process very important. These instruments often require inspection, maintenance, and sterilization to ensure maximum patient safety. Some healthcare facilities still track their instruments with paper and pen, exposing them to human error, credibility, time-consuming recalls, and boxes of archives that need to be stored. However, these challenges can be solved by implementing an electronic tracking system, which offers hospital administrators better control over patient safety and peace of mind.

But what are the experiences of people who have transitioned from using the manual tracking system to the electronic tracking system?

On today’s episode of ConCensis, host Gabrielle Bejanaro speaks with Arlene Bush, Team Supervisor for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and Marlin Minnis, National Conversion Manager at Censis, to compare the pros and cons of using a manual tracking system versus an electronic tracking system.

The trio discussed:

  1. Challenges associated with using a paper tracking system
  2. The experience of transitioning to an electronic tracking system
  3. Experiences with using Censis solutions and advice to other facilities still using the manual paper tracking method

“A tracking system is so critical for the department, as it makes the job easier when there is a need to quantify things in terms of compliance. Previously, when we used paper tracking, it was pretty daunting. Another disadvantage is the ease of losing patient files. The electronic tracking system has more pros than the paper system in terms of accountability, tracking, service, and ease of quantifying data,” explained Arlene Bush.

“I did not really grasp how daunting paper instrument tracking was before I started electronic instrument tracking. The electronic tracking system gave us more credibility and accountability. Most times, especially as a manager, with the paper system, you can make a decision with little or no information, which can come back to hurt you. However, with the electronic data, you can actually see what is happening from the data entry and make informed decisions. Electronic instrument tracking allows the SPD team to be more proactive and less reactive,” explained Marlin Minnis,

Arlene Bush is the Team Supervisor for the US Department of Veteran Affairs. She attended SUNY Canton, where she studied Small Business Administration and Management, and Piedmont Virginia Community College, where she studied Liberal Arts and Sciences. She has been in the sterile processing field for over 20 years.

Marlin Minnis is the National Conversion Manager at Censis. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Minnis has worked with the U.S. Army as a Surgical Technologist for over 10 years. In addition, he worked with Materials Management Microsystems as the Director of Implementation and National Sales Executive for over 13 years before going to Censis Technologies, where he has worked for over 4 years.

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