Materials Management Workstation

Situation

Kaiser Permanente needed an automated method for managing hospital supplies. Their forms-based method required hospital personnel to manually take inventory and manually enter orders. This manual process was error-prone and very time consuming. This system was designed to provide an electronic ordering system that was fast, easy-to-use, and more accurate.

Company

Telxon Corporation (Seattle, WA) for Kaiser Permanente

Action

Working closely with Kaiser personnel we created an automated system for managing hospital supplies. This system uses a Telxon 1134 Pen-Based Computer (PBC) running a custom Penright! application. The application required a dedicated server with custom software to manage data flow between the terminal and server and server to mainframe. Kaiser used a variety of IBM mainframes and MQSeries provided the server to mainframe connection.

The application allowed multiple user security levels, password protection, on-hand or quantity-needed counting (based on user security level), grouping of data by location/route/RAP/subarea, route edit/create functions (based on security level), dial or direct connect data transfer, local data mode (no server required – used for demos or training), and MQ verification on terminal. The server managed all communication sessions, stored received data, placed data in MQ, renamed files, and managed all mainframe transmissions.

Outcome

The system was used in the Kaiser Northwest region. The system saved time, eliminated the errors associated with manual ordering, and increased accountability and tracking.

Benefits

  • Dramatically cut time required for managing supplies
  • Forms-based applications was intuitive and easy to use
  • More accurate and timely data for inventory and ordering
  • Smart terminals and software provided backup and fault management
  • Server allowed connection to a variety of mainframes
  • Server allowed system operation if the mainframe was unavailable
  • MQ interface supported several physical connections to mainframes

Product Details

  • Telxon 1134 Pen-Based Computer (PBC)
  • PenRight! (C++) for 1134 application
  • Greenleaf COMM++ communications libraries
  • VisualAge compiler (C++) for server-side code
  • IBM MQSeries for mainframe connectivity

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