May 13, 2023 | Article

Why Hospitals and Vendors Turn to LoanerLink to Improve Communications

  1. Understand the basics of LoanerLink and how it can better serve your organization.
  2. Recognize the benefits of using LoanerLink, specifically with standardization of the vendor process and accountability across the organization.
  3. Explain ways in which LoanerLink can assist in vendor compliance, on start times surgical times, and high-quality patient experiences.

Healthcare systems rely on teamwork to make daily operations run smoothly for facility staff, vendors, and (most importantly) patients. Sterile processing departments (SPDs) rely on regular communication with loaner tray vendors to ensure that every case is covered with the correct instruments for each surgical procedure. Yet even with the best intentions, getting everyone on the same page can take time. LoanerLink mapping offers a solution to smoothen the vendor-loaner connection with greater transparency and easier communication.




Having efficient processes is absolutely critical in hospital systems. LoanerLink contributes to creating more streamlined systems by automating communications with vendors and improving the visibility into the status of incoming loaner trays.

LoanerLink can be used as a standalone product that works with your existing processes and programs, though it’s also designed to integrate seamlessly with CensiTrac to further expedite the check-in process. Active tray information is fed into CensiTrac from the LoanerLink integration, allowing data fields to prepopulate and update more quickly.

This loaner instrument tray management system can also be used to interface with a hospital’s EMR to identify cases that require loaner instruments. When loaner tray data is uploaded to your OR scheduler, the information is sent to LoanerLink. From here, the system notifies vendors via email with upcoming cases and allows them to view and confirm orders within the LoanerLink app. Vendors receive additional email notifications if any changes are made to the case.

As this is happening, the hospital dashboard also updates automatically to reflect tray status. The dashboard features easy-to-read graphs outlining key information, including:

  • Upcoming trays to process: Selecting a specific day brings up a chart showing all of the upcoming trays. Selecting an individual tray order displays the tray status, case number/date, and rep’s name/contact information.
  • Deliveries at risk: These are trays that present the most risk to delaying the surgery schedule. Hospital staff can look up the rep’s contact information for trays that are especially high-risk and reach out to the rep directly for status updates.
  • Overdue pickup: The dashboard shows the status of each loaner tray so everyone who plays a role in keeping deliveries and pickups on schedule is held accountable.




Regardless of facility size, numerous departments feel the effects of efficient loaner instrument tray management, which is why standardization is so important.

LoanerLink enables SPDs to work with vendors to create standardized naming conventions for loaner trays, resulting in a smoother tray delivery and pickup process for hospital staff and vendor reps. This is especially useful in hospital systems with multiple facilities; vendors know what to expect from one site to the next and can easily find orders by searching under the standard naming convention.

Organizations and vendors benefit from a streamlined tray management system in these other critical ways:

Increased visibility for all parties

LoanerLink provides tray status visibility via the dashboard, helping to eliminate miscommunication between SPDs and vendors. Instead of having to track down trays, OR staff, SPD staff, and other team members with dashboard access can view tray location through every step of the process. The increased visibility also helps vendors easily see which deliveries are due and when, as well as when trays are ready to be picked up.

Vendor accountability

LoanerLink’s vendor rating feature allows you to rate individual vendors’ compliance with facility policies and procedures. This includes noting if deliveries are late or if the vendor regularly retrieves trays outside of the allotted pickup timeframe. This information can help you determine if there’s a need to have a conversation about the vendor’s service quality.

Better resource allocation

Current staffing shortages require careful resource allocation. You can see how many trays are scheduled to arrive on which days via the LoanerLink dashboard, allowing you to schedule staff accordingly. For example, high-volume days may require more staff at the vendor station to accept deliveries and contact reps for delivery confirmation. Using the dashboard preview helps you to anticipate this need.




The LoanerLink system takes into account every stakeholder in the loaner tray management process and addresses their needs at each critical stage.

Improving communication between vendor reps and facilities is one way LoanerLink creates a better experience. Vendor reps may not always know who will contact them or when, especially if they work with more than one medical facility. LoanerLink creates an efficient and transparent line of communication between vendor reps and hospital staff. Between email notifications and automatically updated dashboards, vendors know where and when to make deliveries and can easily contact hospital staff if anything changes.

On-time deliveries allow for more on-time surgical starts. Many healthcare facilities consider on-time surgical starts an important KPI, so misplaced or missing trays can delay start times and negatively impact this measure of success. Using LoanerLink allows SPD and OR teams to track down errant trays quickly if needed. When every part of the process works together, patients benefit from a high-quality patient experience. Surgeons are equipped with the proper tools and can begin surgical procedures on time.

Vendors and facility staff are partners in loaner tray management, and LoanerLink helps keep everyone accountable for their role in the partnership. From order creation to pickup acknowledgement, LoanerLink helps facilities and vendors alike benefit from a streamlined and transparent loaner instrument tray management system. Learn more about LoanerLink features by exploring our website or speaking with our team today.


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