Size: 250+ Beds
Status: For Profit
Type: Medium Metro
IDN Member: Yes
Kit Check Use: Omnicell Anesthesia Workstations, crash carts, ancillary kits
Annual Items Tracked: 70,000+
Background – Time gains from a speedy restocking process are negated by errors.
The manual OR Anesthesia kit restocking process used at this hospital did not take a lot of time, but it was inefficient and error-prone. Every night, an Omnicell restock report would be generated indicating what medications needed to be pulled to restock the hospital’s OR trays. The Pharmacy Technician would pull the necessary medications and organize them against a cabinet-specific report. A Pharmacist would then verify the pulled products against the reports, and the Technician would package the medications and hand deliver them to the various ORs and restock each tray, using Omnicell to check that expiring dates were within the set parameters.
This daily process would take about two hours. Given the number of ORs and trays that need to be restocked, this might not seem like a huge amount of time.
However, a survey of trays that were restocked using this manual process over two days found:
- 50 under-dated medications – Creates a danger that the medication will expire before use, which is both a safety and a waste issue.
- 213 over-dated medications – Waste issue, as the medication could get tossed before it actually expires.
- 70 overstocks – Waste issue, bad use of inventory, increased likelihood of expiration before use.
- 71 understocks – Creates a danger of stockouts
- Other errors – Open packages, medications expiring within 48 hours, expired medication, missing expiration dates, stock-outs, medications in wrong pockets.
Solution – An error-free process saves time, money, and worry
Using Kit Check, the Pharmacy Technicians can now restock entire trays in the pharmacy, instead of pulling individual items to restock individual pockets. Used trays come in to Pharmacy from the ORs and are placed into the Kit Check scanning station which immediately shows what needs to be restocked, what is expired or expiring soon, etc. Once verified by the system, the restocked trays are sealed and loaded into a cart to go to the ORs, where the Technician can simply swap out the used tray from Anesthesia workstations and swap in a new tray that has been restocked, checked, and verified by Kit Check.
After implementing Kit Check for its medication tracking and tray restocking, this facility noted a time savings of 40 minutes—about 35% faster. This totals 2.5 days of a Technician’s time every month that can be redirected to other tasks. But more importantly, the error rate dropped to zero—and this was achieved without adding headcount. Getting it right also means less loss of medication due to expiration, and better visibility into inventory and usage.
This hospital’s case proves that it is possible to have an efficient, accurate, error-free restocking process without adding to existing headcount. In fact, automated tray processing can save time in the pharmacy that can be allocated to other tasks and skills development.
This hospital plans to purchase more pre-tagged medications in the future, which will bring the time savings up to an estimated 42%.
While this may not seem like a vast increase in speed, it is a huge step up in the quality of care and in financial savings. There is true value is consistently getting it right, both from a patient care perspective and a financial standpoint. So while this hospital’s process is 35% faster, it is also 100% better.