Managers of Endoscopy and PeriOperative departments often see a constant stream of endoscopes being sent out for repair and loaner scopes being sent back to them for “temporary” use. However, it is all too common for these loaner scopes to become a permanent part of their scope fleet – they are hard to track and without proper documentation it’s hard to know when they’re due to be sent back to the vendor. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with using loaner scopes. However, they can be the source of unnecessary and frequent charges from your vendors.
Loaner scopes are intended to be used for a fixed, short duration of time. When taking in loaner scopes, however, hospitals are signing up for several risks. First, loaner scopes that are held too long can result in rental fees for each month that a loaner scope is used beyond the agreed to period. With so many scopes going in and out of a facility, it’s easy to take your eye off of the contracted time period and get hit with unexpected fees. Second, any costs related to damages to loaner scopes are the sole responsibility of the hospital. Because of this, it’s best to use loaner scopes only when absolutely required, and to make sure they don’t get overused to avoid unnecessary repair charges. Lastly, loaner scopes can, and quite often do, get lost. It may be a temporary or permanent loss of the scopes, but either way if the loaner scope isn’t found when the vendor asks for it, you may get hit with an unexpected bill.
With all of these risks from loaner scope usage, hospitals need a system to keep track of their inventory. Academic medical centers and large health systems especially require a solution due to the sheer number of loaner scopes they have at any given time. Thankfully, a newly released feature from Mobile Aspects helps hospitals manage their loaner scope inventory. Their scope tracking software, iRIScope, helps manage the tracking and usage of an entire endoscope inventory, and a new module has been released that focuses on loaner scopes. When loaner scopes reach the end of their contracted term, iRIScope can send proactive alerts to notify techs that loaner scopes need to be returned to the vendor. iRIScope tracks the usage levels of loaner scopes so you can make sure you keep loaner scope usage to a minimal level when possible. iRIScope also helps track down missing loaner scopes by recording a real-time chain of custody of scopes so missing scopes can be identified and tracked down immediately. iRIScope helps to mitigate all of the risks associated with loaner scopes as part of its best in class scope tracking capabilities. iRIScope will also help manage all of the usage, reprocessing and repair details of your entire scope inventory, and will offer up actionable analytics on how to improve your management of your expensive scopes. Built in patient safety features also minimize the risk from adverse health events caused by inadequately reprocessed scopes.