Building a Digital Asset Management System - VHA SimLEARN
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Building a Digital Asset Management System

By: Bonnie Barti, MAed, Simulation Technician | VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System

When working as a simulation professional it is of utmost importance to ensure that inventory is accurate at all times. Knowing what equipment is available and its location are the top two priorities regarding managing assets. That’s one of the key reasons that the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center has updated its inventory management by using The Asset Manager program within Microsoft Teams. The prior system included paper and pencil, which could cause issues with paperwork errors, timeliness and accuracy. Having the inventory accessible in Teams allows interested educators, team members and other users to view the items with availability easily and updated in real time.

Photograph by Bonnie Barti

Within the Asset Manager, each item in the listing has the following options available for input: photo, inventory number, status, manufacturer, equipment name, model, serial number, order number, category, electronic inventory list (EIL), purchase date, purchase price, location, current owner, borrower, borrow date and item replacement date. Categories can be changed and renamed as needed to accommodate the needs of each team group. The table can be filtered by any column features.

One of the most valuable features includes the item status. This tool allows the owner to know if the item is available, reserved, in use, in repair, or retired. Another useful feature is the borrower and date borrowed, which tracks where your item is currently located and who has it. Items can be viewed in a list or gallery style depending on the user’s needs. Assets can be grouped by type or manufacturer when searching through the inventory, and the listing can be exported into an excel spreadsheet for inventory checks or sharing with interested simulation staff members.

Within the document manager functions, members of the team group can search and find asset files, share assets with others, submit changes back to the asset file and monitor/review assets in the library. Members can also attach all the relevant documents of the asset such as manuals, user guide and support contact. The Asset Manager updates in real time and is up to date with inventory which supports no delays for the user borrowing equipment for simulations in hospital settings.

Within a growing simulation center, having an asset management system has lessened the amount of time searching for items and finding out if items are available for use. Although, the initial cataloging is time consuming, the upkeep is simple and takes little time for maintenance.