Inventory management system helps improve patients' experience at home

Returning home from hospital can be a daunting experience, especially when you’re relying on equipment like a walking frame, wheelchair or shower stool to support you at home. Enable New Zealand’s inventory management system helps make the process of issuing, retrieving and managing support equipment seamless and cost-effective so hospitals can stay focused on the person—not the process.

How the system works

This Short-Term Loan (STL) inventory management system leverages Enable New Zealand staff’s expertise in equipment procurement, distribution and management to enhance the way District Health Boards (DHBs) keep track of equipment loaned to patients for use at home.  

Using our cloud-based, real time app, clinicians can search for the equipment they're after and see at a glance the equipment that is available for loan and those that are currently on loan in the community.

The streamlined dashboard keeps clinicians and equipment management staff on the same page and radically simplifies the process of requesting and arranging equipment loans, giving teams more time to focus on patients.

Saving DHBs time and money

Our system also saves DHBs time and money by improving the efficiency of equipment retrieval and requests for long-term loans.

The system automatically adds equipment recall dates based on the purpose for the loan, which simplifies equipment returns and increases the effective use of DHB assets. And if a customer requests to keep their equipment long-term, our system makes that process seamless too.

Rather than retrieving the original equipment and reissuing a similar piece of equipment from Ministry of Health funded long-term loan services (like the one facilitated by Enable New Zealand), hospitals can use our system to arrange for the customer to keep the equipment they already have. Clinicians just request for these items to be transferred from their short-term loan system to the Ministry of Health’s long-term loan system, and a similar piece of equipment is sent to the DHB to replace the item now designated for long-term loan.

This saves staff from needing to retrieve and replace equipment, ensures there is no disruption for the customer and saves District Health Boards thousands of dollars a year in transport costs.

Building a national customer base

Our Short-Term Loan system has been successfully adopted and implemented by a number of District Health Boards across New Zealand, with great results. We’ve rolled out the system in multiple districts this year, and others are interested. 

Nicola Westend, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Team leader from Wairau Hospital NMH, says, "It has been four months now since we implemented the new STL system. Over this time, we have had greater visibility of loan equipment, a more accurate understanding of actual length of loans and the ability to see availability of equipment across a range of storage sites within the DHB."

We’re proud to be at the forefront of work to develop a nationally sustainable, sector-wide approach to effectively and efficiently managing loan equipment inventory.

Read more about the STL service