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Automated Supply Chain Management Simplifies OR Procedures

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 12 Dec 2018
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Image: A novel software platform helps maintain OR efficiencies (Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health).
Image: A novel software platform helps maintain OR efficiencies (Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health).
A novel platform allows hospitals to streamline their operating room (OR) processes, reduce costs, and improve efficiency through real-time inventory visibility and prescriptive analytics.

The Cardinal Health (Dublin, OH, USA) WaveMark inventory management solution brings diverse data and workflows together seamlessly to save time, cut costs, and provide "peace of mind" for clinical staff and supply chain administrators. A single intuitive dashboard provides alerts for issues that need immediate attention (short-dated, slow-moving, recalled, or missing items), while an analytics suite pulls together multiple streams of supply data and case cost information to ensure complete visibility, from receipt to usage to order.

The WaveMark interface ensures interoperability with existing hospital systems, including materials management system (MMIS), electronic medical records (EMRs), and clinical information systems, which leverage easy-to-use data collection technologies and processes, such as handheld smart wands, radio frequency identification (RFID) smart cabinets, point-of-use stations, barcode systems, and the Kanban scheduling system. The improved visibility ensured clinicians always have the right product in the right place at the right time, guaranteeing that expired or recalled supplies never reach the patient.

Additional features include prescriptive analytics, which not only predict future needs, but also provide a course of action to manage supply related challenges proactively; flexible reports that reveal the impact of supplies on OR operations including cost-per-encounter, physician level utilization, expired, missing or recalled products, and usage (charge capture). Hospitals are provided with a comprehensive, integrated approach that aligns operational and financial planning, and leverages analytics for informed decisions that are focused on supporting broader strategic objectives.

“We recognized that the OR supply chain is not only one of the most expensive areas in a hospital, it's also one of the most challenging. By ensuring that resources are in the right place and available when needed, we help our customers maintain their focus on improving on improving patient care,” said John Roy, vice president and general manager of WaveMark at Cardinal Health. “The sheer scale, complexity and unique requirements of the OR call for a supply chain solution developed specifically for the OR, which considers aspects of people, process, and technology.”

OR expenses make up 40–60% of total hospital supply costs, and the inventory for an average 15-room OR includes an estimated 3,000–4,000 products in multiple locations. These supplies must flow through varied processes continously, and some might have specific requirements for tracking, documentation, and compliance.

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