Monday, June 25, 2012

Pressure Alert - Brendan McSheffrey and En-Gauge Inc.

“Let’s go take a look.”  Before I could close the black binder in which I am taking notes, Brendan McSheffrey, CEO of En-Gauge Inc., heads for the door.  He never looks behind to hurry me on.  Slim with a contemporarily cut hazel head of hair, he simply carries on expecting me to follow.  I shut my binder. I move quickly to cover the ground between us.  After all, I am there to see him and he is accommodating me, a relative unknown.

He tells me more about En-Gauge Inc., his family’s business. Brendan’s family has been in the fire safety business for decades.  They work with fire extinguisher manufactures and gas cylinder providers.  They have global connections.

“We actually make stuff here!”  Brendan points to a pressure gauge that has an RFID sensor attached.  The sensor tells when a pressurized cylinder is empty.

The picture is clear to me.  There are hundreds of pressurized gas cylinders and fire extinguishers in a medical center.  All the fire extinguishers undergo frequent inspections.  Empty ones can be a danger.  Hospital staff must maintain inspection records, remove, and refill empty or leaking ones.  Catching a leak early is best.  It costs money to refill a fire extinguisher.

There are gas cylinders too.  For oxygen cylinders, leaks increase the fire hazard.  They are used in transport.  Cylinders that are under patient use need to be changed when empty.   En-Gauge works with hospitals to build an application which monitors wireless sensors that attach to cylinder gauges.  The recordkeeping is automated.  The application notifies to email, beeper, or mobile phone when a cylinder is empty.  All of this is acceptable to The Joint Commission that provides hospital accreditation.  Check! It may not make a person get rid of all the their  I See JCAHO People coffee mugs.  Relieve some stress, save some time, and money... I think I can queue some traveling music.

Brendan goes on to show me blockage devices for electrical panels, outlets, and AEDs that can help notify hospital safety personnel of other life safety code violations.  Click here for a free whitepaper from En-Gauge Inc.  This link is not a paid or pay per click advertisement.**

However, this is only part of what I am after.  Capturing the moment remains elusive.  What brought him to this point?  I rephrase the questions.  Was he riding down the road and the idea hit him like an anvil?  Was he on the golf course and having a moment?  Or did he simply read something and eventually decided to take a chance?

The jewel of an answer perches on his lips.  The moment I am hoping for is well worth the wait.  Paraphrased:  We went to see our grandmother.  As we talked, we noticed her oxygen cylinder was empty.  It needed changing.  We had to notify the nurse.  My family is in the gauge business.  We thought that there ought to be a way of addressing that.

An entrepreneurial effort sparked to life from concerns about family health.  En-Gauge brought it to market with all the risk, anticipation, and anxiousness such an effort bears.  Add the visibility of the companies to which Brendan has connection... no pressure whatsoever.  The idea was brought to fruition in a way that can help others, save money and time for the end-user, and bring in revenue for the company.  Overall it was a good day.

**This statement keeps me in compliance with Google Adsense policy.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Entrepreneurs in Asset Management

I am listening to Tan Dun’s The Eternal Vow, a song from the soundtrack of a movie I recommend, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  How that relates to Asset Management...?  Tan Dun’s story inspires me to start something new, my series to spotlight entrepreneurs in the field of Asset Management.  This includes those entrepreneurs who provide products or services that asset managers may use.

The series will focus on small businesses, mostly.  Why?  Because I think there is an interesting story to tell, a moment to capture, a reason to understand the personality that drives a particular service or product.

Another part is inspiring readers by telling of others’ success.  I certainly need inspiration at times.  Not so much of the cliché, “If they can do it, so can I.”  Spontaneous creativity gets my attention.  Any idea brought to fruition in a way that helps people tends to draw me, whether that help is emotional or physical.

These articles are not an endorsement of the product, service or the person; rather, they relay an observation from one perspective.  So, don’t put your money on the table based on my observation.

The first blog post of the series will be in the area of safety and a method of protecting the physical structure of your assets and the people who work, live, or visit within those walls.
Covering Your Assets By Exposing The Butt-Ugly Truth
Includes great information on Capital Equipment, RTLS/RFID and EAM

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reliability Engineering, Biomedical Equipment Technician, and Clinical Engineering

I have started a discussion on the Asset Management Healthcare Linkedin Group.  The purpose is to generate thought toward what it would really take to show data on which maintenance procedures are effective for maintaining safety and operational specifications and which are not. I do not mean for one work center, one hospital, or one hospital system but for several hospitals across the U.S.  If possible, beyond that.  And as always, the patients safety and health is primary.

Do you believe such an effort could be accomplished ?

On a personal note, back in the day, there was a time you could call an Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM, and talk about field/shop procedures.  I remember calling them and asking about something in their service manual.  The OEM engineer or technician would talk to me.  Sometimes they would say, we don't do that anymore or a change was on the way down to us.  We would modify our protocols based on those discussions. Whatever happened to that? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

International Effort- How are we doing in RTLS?

Over the last 4 weeks, I have spoken to some of my readers about one of my on-going projects.   I am surveying employees in 2 hospital departments to get an idea of how well all the international efforts  are going in penetrating American healthcare organizations with education and information about RFID/RTLS in regards to assets.

Vendors, not-for-profit organizations, and professional associations from all over the globe put a great deal of effort and money into educating and informing healthcare leadership and key personnel about RFID/RTLS.  Conference traffic around RFID/RTLS is up.  My blog statistics reflect the United States, UK, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Australia, and Brazil, as the majority of my audience.  When I speak with people face-to-face, I see serious inquiry and even excitement in their manner.  So, the efforts and money seem to be working.  But, each week my phone calls give me a reality check as to how much more we can do here is the United States.  This may be relevant to other countries as well.

My mobile service porvider has grandfathered me into their unlimited data and voice plan.  They no longer offer this in the U.S. and are probably scheming to get me off of it right now.  If I printed my call log it would look like a governmental legislative bill.  Each week I serve hours in cold-call jail.  The self-imposed jail sentence, I pin myself to a chair, put my face into an HP Pavilion, lay my Motorola Droid on the chair's arm with the speaker on, and I make my way down a very long list of hospitals.

I contact supply chain offices and the biomedical equipment repair/clinical engineering offices.  Yes, that is at least 2 calls per hospital.  These people are normally associated with the low hanging fruit that can get a quick return on investment.  My calls are not an assessment of sales activity though there are some implications.  I am getting an idea how well we are reaching certain people.

I will not publish the details of my finding but my questions are pretty simple.  I ask about RTLS, I listen for silence and the eventual response.  After completing the questions, I leave room for conversation if the person on the call is willing.  They usually are.  If they aren’t, I move on to the next call. 
Get Control of your Capital Equipment reporting and costs:
 Policy, process, EAM/CMMS and RTLS

For the most part, awareness is not looking good. 1. Budgets are a problem.  Work schedules are stressed.  I find that staff members are not attending conferences.  This includes AHRMM, HIMSS, and AAMI.  Information is not getting pushed down to some key people.  2. Those who work for hospital systems that have recently purchased RFID/RTLS platforms tend wait on something to be dropped on them to use.  Exactly what or how they need to use it, they are unsure.  3.  The facilities that have working groups that talk and share information tend to know more, train more, and have an idea of the corporate plan.  These were very few in comparison to the couple hundred organizations I have contacted so far.

Friday, June 8, 2012

You know you are in deep when...

You know you are in deep when you wake up putting database tables together in your head.  What a thing to wake up to!

I got in this mode because I explained my career to someone not familiar with the field at all.  I am still kind of riding the excitement.

The company needs an application as part of the solution.  They are not ready for a full-blown one, so it looks like I will have to build an application for them with what they have on hand.

While books like Database Design for Mere Mortals By Hernandez, Michael J. and Beginning Database Design By Churcher, Clare are much more that I need, the principles of understanding the hierarchy of the client's requirements are important.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Book Review

See who just reviewed my book: "Great perspectives on the inside workings of how hospitals make decisions..." Click on the link to read the rest of the review and to see who posted it. It may surprise you! Covering Your Assets By Exposing The Butt-Ugly Truth

SWK, Stanley Black and Decker Stock

As of 4:24 U.S. Eastern Daylight Savings Time, there is no press release on the  Stanley Black and Decker webpage.  The stock is up +0.85 (1.37%).  I want to see how long it runs.

Finally, the Announcement

Stanley Black and Decker Buys Aeroscout