An objection to using quantitative fit testing, especially in hospitals, has been that it hasn’t been possible to test multiple people at the same time. I can empathize with employee health nurses who are trying to fit hundreds, sometimes thousands of hospital employees in the most efficient way possible. What better way than to line up a number of employees with hoods and fit test them using bitrex or saccharine?
Is it quick? Yes. Is it accurate? Maybe. Is it consistent? Maybe.
While it may be quicker to test multiple people at the same time, it may decrease accuracy as a nurse may not be able to pay attention as they would conducting one on one testing. One of the advantages of quantitative fit testing is that it removes subjectivity and improves consistency.
Users that have made the switch to the TSI Portacount have sometimes struggled with the data as it is saved on multiple flashdrives for each one of their machines. Integrating that data to a single database has been an issue.
Good news, TSI has helped address both of those issues.
TSI’s new software helps to test multiple people at the same time and also allows all that data to be recorded easier on the same database. The new FitPro+ software will allow a single person to test up to four people simultaneously using one computer. This is done by utilizing a single “dashboard” style interface. So rather than four Portacounts lined up recording four different sets of data, you can record all fit test on the same database while testing four individuals at the same time. This should decrease the amount of people needed to perform fit testing and also makes record keeping even easier.
Now while being able to test multiple people is the most notable change, there are a couple of other changes that will make your IT department happier. The first is that the software expands compatibility with Windows 8. As Microsoft is no longer providing support for XP, it is likely that many organizations will be upgrading to either Windows 7 or 8. The second, and I think even more important, is the return to storing records in MS Access. The previous generation of FitPro used SQL, which caused a few headaches for companies that were not able to install SQL or wished to store their databases on a shared network. A return to Access will make it much easier to share data across networks.
Please note: To take advantage of the new FitPro+ software features, you’ll also need to download and install the PortaCount Pro v2.9 firmware upgrade. Otherwise, when you try to use these new FitPro+ features, your Portacount unit’s screen will be black. (The system will still be functioning properly and recording test data, but it will not be visible on the unit’s screen till you install the firmware update.
RAECO-LIC LLC is the authorized TSI representative in the Midwest United States.