25 years of providing digital traceability of surgical instruments
When it launched 25 years ago, Getinge’s sterile supply management solution T-DOC was the first solution worldwide offering health care facilities to go from paper-based to fully digital surgical instrument traceability. Since then, Getinge has continued to innovate the solution together with customers to meet the growing demands of digitalized health care.
When Getinge’s T-DOC was released to the market back in 1996, it brought an easy, safe and time-saving way for health care staff to ensuring complete traceability as well as optimizing instrument and device utilization. The instruments would be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized – to be delivered in time for each surgery.
“During the first installations the central sterile supply department (CSSD) staff were clapping hands. Gone were the days of tracking instruments with pen, paper and label applicators. They were so happy about going digital; saving time and thereby providing better patient care,” says Lars Søndergaard, Director, Product Management & Business Development, Sterile Supply Management at Getinge.
Lars, who has always been into programming and has built the entire architectural structure, likes to call T-DOC his little baby. A product that has grown into a market-leading solution in countries worldwide. In 2004, it became the first sterile supply management and surgical instrument traceability solution to offer multi-site setups, enabling hospital groups or regions to connect several hospitals in the same T-DOC system.
“These large projects with multi-sites and interfacing with the entire hospital’s IT infrastructure have become more and more common. It’s beneficial for hospitals to have systems that talk to each other. All our projects are carried out in close collaboration with the customers to create a tailor-made solution that answers to their exact needs. Often, the needs turn into new cool product features that more can benefit from,” says Lars.
Although T-DOC has been consistently developed throughout the years, the core remains: that it is easy and efficient to use. Another time-saver added to T-DOC is the automation feature.
“Optimizing labor usage can be achieved in many ways, leveraging automation in the instrument reprocessing workflow is one of them. Automated solutions will save time when the manual handling at a given step is reduced. In addition you save time and reduce disruption,” explains Lars.
Everything around T-DOC and the refinements of it makes Lars feel very passionate about his job. So does the people he work with, and a few of them has also been around since 1996 and part of the entire T-DOC journey.
“Ever since the start we have had so much fun doing this together. Innovation requires good collaboration, that’s how we achieve great things together,” says Lars.
One of the people in his team is Anna Funder, who joined Getinge 10 years ago. Today, she is the Product Manager of T-DOC.
“I have always desired to work with improving digital health care products. Health care is so important and it’s inspiring for me to work within this area. Digitalization done right is a way to support hospital staff in their everyday work, and a way to optimize the utilization of resources in the best possible way,” she says.
Driven by creating customer value, Anna enjoys working with a product that is based on 25 years of input and experience from people who use the solution professionally every day.
“We give close local support backed up with global knowledge. Whether the requests are about automation, single instrument tracking, case cart solutions, stock management, invoicing or more complex functionality – T-DOC is the brain and offers the full solution,” tells Anna.
During the pandemic, T-DOC has also played an important role. Many hospitals have had a huge staff turnover and for new resources in a hurry the ease of use has enabled quick onboarding and making sure all procedures has been followed to ensure quality and patient safety.
“Many surgeries have been cancelled or moved, but T-DOC adapts to the ever-changing schedule and makes sure the goods are still delivered on time,” explains Anna.
Currently, the team is working on the next version of T-DOC which will bring a lot of new functionality.
“For example, we are looking into how we can answer to the growing demands of cloud-based solutions but also how to improve user interfaces and add new reports and dashboards,” reveals Anna.
Both Anna and Lars are looking forward to the work that lays ahead to continue digitalize health care and let T-DOC, also after 25 years, continue to grow and bloom with the customer needs.