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Customer Anecdote Volume 2 – Operating room efficiencies

by Ramsey Chambers

Customer Profile

Status: Non-Profit
IDN Member: Yes
Size: >100 beds
Setting: Metro
ORs: <10
Kit Check Use: Crash carts and OR trays
Drugs Tracked Annually with Kit Check: >35,000

Background

This hospital had 6 operating rooms and Pharmacy leveraged a patient specific anesthesia tray model to distribute medications and capture charges. To service their OR volume, Pharmacy had 18 anesthesia trays and processed used trays 4 times each day to avoid stockouts. Each tray required 20 minutes of a pharmacy technician’s time to do the initial restock and 10 minutes of pharmacist time to check the tray before it was sent back to the OR.

On an average day, each tray was processed at least once which meant, at a minimum, 6 hours of a pharmacy tech and 3 hours of pharmacist time was spent every day on this process. As with most Pharmacies, this customer was under constant pressure to do more without increasing headcount and sought a more efficient process to free up staff time to work on other projects.

Solution

After implementing the anesthesia module of their EMR in the OR, the hospital moved to a charge-on-admin model. This change in practice allowed Pharmacy to re-evaluate their tray management process. After careful consideration, they implemented Kit Check to speed up tray processing and moved to a multi-patient day tray model.

Results

With these changes, Pharmacy was able to reduce the number of trays from 18 to 12 and optimize par levels using Kit Check Analytics which resulted in a 33%+ reduction in inventory. This is in line with the average inventory reduction Kit Check customers see after implementation. The biggest win, however, was in staff efficiency.

With Kit Check, the time required by pharmacy techs was reduced by 84% from 6 hours to under 1 hour each day. Pharmacist time was reduced by 100% with Kit Check fulfilling the State Board of Pharmacy requirements for a pharmacist double-check. Overall, staff time spent processing trays was reduced 89% which is in line with the efficiency savings seen by all Kit Check customers. To further put this efficiency gain into context, Kit Check freed up the equivalence of 163 pharmacy technician workdays and 98 pharmacist workdays every year.

Conclusion

Rather than seeing their EMR implementation as a roadblock to innovation, this customer leveraged the opportunity to re-imagine their processes to look for more efficient ways of running the Pharmacy. Leveraging Kit Check, they were able to not only increase team efficiency by 89% but also reduce inventory by 33%. On staff efficiency alone, their Kit Check investment provided a 250%+ ROI while eliminating a tedious, error-prone process and freeing up team members to focus on other high priority projects and improving clinical care.

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