Salford PCT realises significant time savings and improved reporting processes with centralised asset register
Salford Primary Care Trust, a health services provider, has implemented fixed asset management software from Real Asset Management (RAM) to manage its fixed assets worth £43 million. The RAM solution has enabled the Trust to develop a robust, centralised asset register which promotes improved reporting processes and enables significant time savings by eliminating manual data entry.
Salford PCT develops and provides primary and community health services to the population of 240,000, with its asset base comprising equipment, buildings and refurbished clinics and office units.
The Trust was previously using spreadsheets to manage its fixed assets, which proved inefficient and time-consuming. Karen Pickersgill, Assistant Financial Accountant at Salford PCT, comments, "Using spreadsheets to manage our fixed assets presented a number of problems, including the fact that formulae would often not read through to the following table, resulting in unstable and inaccurate data. The entire process was also very time-consuming as we had to enter and process data manually. With the number of assets increasing we realised it was just not viable to continue with this system, and we decided to invest in a specialist package."
Pickersgill adds, "The software came recommended by other NHS bodies so we knew that the system would work for us. RAM also offered a data preparation service, which was a key clincher for us. The RAM team gathered the data from our old database and prepared it for integration with the new system. This made the whole transition less painful for us internally and saved a significant amount of time."
The solution tracks, records and controls all changes that occur within an asset's lifetime to provide accurate, up to date and historical data from the point at which the asset was acquired through depreciation, to disposal or replacement. Pickersgill comments, "The system itself is very user-friendly and intuitive and the reports are easy to generate and are self-explanatory. Of course, any new system requires a learning curve, but the RAM helpdesk has been very good in responding to any queries we've had."
The RAM system provides users with comprehensive reporting capabilities, which is vital for an NHS body such as Salford PCT. Pickersgill comments, "The Trust has to report to the Strategic Health Authority and I am tasked with adding detail regarding the fixed assets to the larger report. The software simply allows me to run an accurate, real-time report and I can fully trust the data provided. This saves a great deal of time, as I can pick out the data required and input this into the formal report."
Pickersgill concludes, "The integrity of the data generated by the RAM system is key for Salford PCT, as I have no need to question the accuracy of the asset register. This impacts upon our audit performance and saves a significant amount of time for me over a working month - as much as half a day."