DIGITIZATION OF EQUIPMENT AUDIT FOR HEALTHCARE EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER TO HOSPITALS AND CLINICS

  • Digitization of medical equipment audit thereby eliminating the error prone paper-based process
  • Notification and escalation matrix for missed audits and errors in audits
  • Offline access to ensure a seamless audit process even in the absence of network connectivity and reliable wi-fi
  • Visual representation of various metrics related to the medical equipment inventory and audit status
  • TECH STACK:
    JavaSpring BootMySQLReact NativeWatermelon DBChart JS
  • EXPERTISE:
    Mobile App DevelopmentCustom Software Development
  • VERTICAL:
    Healthcare
  • ENGAGEMENT MODEL:
    Fixed Cost Fixed ScopeTime & Materials

BACKGROUND

The client is a provider of support services for hospitals and other businesses in the healthcare domain. They needed an application that can digitize their internal audit process. Their current process is completely manual wherein auditors need to go through inspection of every medical equipment and note down information about it on a piece of paper, which is then manually uploaded by a data entry person on to a computer. Paper notes tend to get lost, illegible for others to read, and may not always have all the metrics as auditors sometimes forget to capture all required metrics for certain special kind of items. Additionally, a lot of items had to be audited frequently. Because it was a manual process, the client sometimes missed items that needed to be audited, or wouldn’t know about it until it gets reported by the auditors or their clients, which made the client look bad in front of their customers.

The client wanted an application that can be accessed by managers, front line auditors and administrators with clearly defined roles for each user type.

Managers

  • Ability to create, update, delete, and display list of a variety of data like Client info, Rooms, Campus, Units, Building, Floor, Items, Audit Type & its related audit questionnaire.
  • Ability to view all the metrics using a chart representation on the Dashboard. The dashboard itself should be able to render/show all the item details as a list along with last audited information.
  • Ability to view the history of audit information on a particular item from the list of all available/old items.
  • Ability to view and download the reports of the items along with their location.

Front line auditors

  • Ability to perform an audit of one or more items under their units, using their mobile device and start the inspection by just scanning the item bar code.
  • Ability to view on a mobile device the status of particular unit/floor that has items yet to be audited.

Administrators

  • Ability to add new items locations and types.
  • Ability to manipulate data sets and create new inspection criteria.
  • Ability to create and run reports on data collected.
  • Ability to create and assign other users and change their user types.

SOLUTION

Our team conducted a thorough discovery phase to understand client needs and gather requirements. We developed wireframes, and used them to further develop UI Designs. Thereafter, we started development and kept the client apprised of the progress using biweekly sprint demos wherein features developed in those two weeks are demoed to the client, and feedback from that meeting incorporated in future sprints.

Features

  • 1.
    Graphical representation: We built pie charts, bar charts and other kinds of charts to visually display various important metrics related to the audit of medical equipment.
  • 2.
    Offline access: We built features that enabled auditors and front-line workers to conduct inspections right from their mobile devices. In the event they are offline because of lack of cell phone signal or access to wi-fi, they can still conduct the audit and the data from the audit is synced back to the server once they are online. In order to make this happen, we used a relational database called Watermelon DB that stores data internally in the mobile app.
  • 3.
    Notifications: Using Amazon SES (Simple Email Service), we provided notifications to the respective administrators about non-audited items that are due for an audit.
  • 4.
    Hosting: The admin portal was deployed as an EC2 instance on AWS. iOS app and Android app were released to App Store and Google Play Store respectively.

Challenges

Our team faced a couple of challenges while developing this application.

  • One of the primary challenges was developing the bar code scanner inside the mobile application. While most mobile devices with camera these days have the ability to scan bar codes using readily available applications, older phones were not compatible with those applications and also had restrictions on the type of bar codes that can be scanned. To mitigate this problem, we finalized a standard bar code type as the default for all items in the client’s inventory. We then identified an open-source bar code scanning library and tweaked it to make it work on various devices, various screen sizes, several versions of iOS and camera apps.
  • Another challenge was related to the creation of charts that provide drill down as well as trigger functionality. A charting library usually provides just drill down charts but rarely allows the user interface to trigger an update of the chart. We used an open-source library and configured it so that the charts could act as drill downs for multiple levels and also as triggers to update subsequent sections and charts which would then be reloaded/refreshed on the fly based on the selections inside the charts.

RESULTS

By digitizing the audit process and enabling users to do that via a handheld device, we helped the client achieve the following results.

  • Reduce paper trail and eliminate the highly inefficient and error prone paper-based record keeping for audits.
  • Divert resources that were previously used to manage, store, retrieve and input those audit reports to better tasks that impact the business’ bottom line.
  • Improve customer experience by reducing faults in audit which was made possible through prompt alerts received from the application.
  • Get notified of missed audits and the auditor missing the audit thereby ensuring prompt corrective action.

BENEFITS

Through the application that our team developed, the client was able to streamline and speed up the audit process, improve staff accountability and eliminate human errors thereby leading to excellent customer satisfaction.

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