Reston Hospital was faced with missing tissue grafts and arduous manual inventory processes. Reston was writing off approximately $200,000 per year in missing grafts in the OR. With the announcement of updated FDA and Joint Commission standards, along with the growing costs associated with missing tissue, Reston began searching for a solution that would enable them to automatically track and manage critical inventory.
The Unique Device Identification (UDI) Rule
Joint Commission standards apply to hospitals that store or issue tissue. This includes any areas outside of the clinical laboratory; for example, surgery and outpatient centers or tissue banks. On September 27, 2007 the Unique Device Identification (UDI) rule was signed into law. This was created to assign a unique identifier to medical devices, such as heart valves, implants, and stents. The purpose of the UDI rule is to improve the quality of information in medical device event reports. In turn, this will help to quickly identify recalled or compromised products. The FDA is using a phased implementation of the rule’s requirements. Class III devices went into effect on September 24, 2014. Implantable, life-supporting, and life-sustaining devices that are not class III devices or licensed under the PHS Act went into effect on September 24, 2015.
Automated Inventory Control
Reston Hospital determined that the implementation of Terso Solutions’ RFID-enabled enclosures integrated with UDITracker software from Champion Healthcare Technologies to be the best answer to their critical issue. In 2013, Reston installed a large, ultra low temperature RFID-enabled freezer that currently stores 57 pieces of inventory. In addition, a large 2-door RFID-enabled cabinet was installed, and currently stores 188 items, such as tissue and implants. Because of the efficiency of these solutions, Reston Hospital installed an additional RFID freezer and cabinet in 2015. Combined, these enclosures currently store 192 pieces of inventory. Along with the RFID-enabled enclosures, Champion’s UDITracker software tracks all removals from and additions to the cabinet and freezer. It is now possible to know who took what, and when. This automates what was once a time-consuming and error-prone process for Reston. The software allows nurses and staff at the hospital to track any medical item with a lot, serial, or UDI number in seconds. Reston Hospital found the use of UDITracker’s QuickReceipt feature to be an important piece to their overall workflow. This feature gives staff the capability to access real-time shipment statuses, and has saved the hospital’s supply chain managers time while simultaneously improving data accuracy.
Inventory Cost Savings
Between expiring and missing inventory, hospitals lose thousands of dollars every year. This was no different for Reston Hospital. Argenis Mendoza, Business Manager, Operating Room at Reston Hospital Center, has been using this automated inventory management system since its implementation. For Argenis, the UDITracker software affords him the ability to receive alerts of upcoming expiration dates, which means less waste and less time spent manually reconciling inventory. With the reporting features available through UDITracker, the hospital has improved record of implant usage, starting from the loading dock to patient entry. With secure access to high-value inventory through Terso Solutions’ RFID-enabled cabinets, any piece of tissue that is removed is automatically recorded through the UDITracker software, and that data is immediately accessible in real-time.
Fast Recall Management
In addition to cost savings and increased patient care, Reston Hospital is now able to provide a much quicker response time to recalled products. When exposed to a product recall, most hospitals take weeks or more to investigate. Because of the real-time visibility of inventory in their supply chain, Reston Hospital can respond to a recall in approximately 24 hours. UDITracker software scans current and historical hospital inventory for a match of any recalled items, as well as provides ongoing matching for future inventory activity. Since the data is automatically integrated into a patient’s EHR record, Reston can now pinpoint which individual patients were affected by a recall. This fast, efficient response to device recalls can help increase patient safety and decrease liability.
The Benefits Continue
Using this automated inventory management solution, Reston Hospital is able to efficiently and effectively adhere to regulatory compliance guidelines. As well, they have greatly improved their workflow through automation and have reduced waste with expiration date management. Patient safety is top priority and staff are able to focus on the work they do best - providing superior care - rather than on manually managing inventory.
About Champion Healthcare Technologies
Champion Healthcare Technologies is a technology company that is dedicated to preserving the integrity of healthcare. Our solutions are specifically designed to provide oversight and insight into workflows and systems utilized by hospitals. Our big-picture goal is to identify and remove obstacles that adversely impact the effectiveness of healthcare providers. We’re not in the business of telling providers how to do their jobs. Rather, we want to empower healthcare providers to care for their patients to the best of their ability. Visit www.championht.com for more information.