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Customer Anecdote — Clearing the Bottlenecks

Customer Profile

Size: 250+
Status: For Profit
Type: Medium Metro
IDN Member: Yes
Kit Check Use: Crash carts, Omnicell anesthesia workstations

Background – Kit restocking was a slow, error-prone process that was hampered by bottlenecks.

This hospital’s manual tray restocking process involved many steps, each of which had its own dependencies. First, a technician would go to each OR at the end of the day, taking visual inventory of each tray in each suite and manually adjusting the par levels to make sure the inventory counts in Pyxis were accurate, which often involved repeated visits. Returning to Pharmacy, the technician would run a Pyxis restocking report and pull the medications needed for each tray. The tech would then wait for a pharmacist to verify the medications, and finally return to each OR to restock each tray, checking expiration dates for each medication in the process.

This multi-step process would typically take three hours each night, and was prone to errors. Given the demands on the pharmacist’s time, waiting for verification often created a bottleneck, making things take even longer. The process also gave little visibility into expiration data, as logging expiration dates while restocking products often got overlooked due to the time crunch.

Solution – Instant verification and liner swaps means quicker and safer tray replenishment.

Since implementing Kit Check for their OR Anesthesia trays, the hospital’s restocking process is much simpler. First, the facility purchased additional Pyxis trays to supplement their supply, based on their usage data. Used OR trays are placed into the Kit Check scanning station, which immediately shows what needs to be restocked, what is expired or expiring soon, any recalls, etc. Since the restocked trays are verified through the Kit Check scanning station, no Pharmacist time is needed, so that potential slowdown is eliminated.

Instead of going back and forth between Pharmacy and the ORs to refill individual items, Technicians can swap in complete and verified Pyxis tray liners in for the used ones, further streamlining the process. Pharmacy can refill liners on the spot so they are ready when needed. The new process takes about an hour total—a savings of 33%.

Results/Conclusion – Speedier process, better visibility, safer trays.

Previously, if a stockout occurred in the OR, Pharmacy Technicians would have to drop everything to run medications to the OR and coordinate restocking with Anesthesia techs—another bottleneck risk for these very busy departments. With the new process, if there is a shortage in the OR during the day, the Anesthesia tech can just swap out the liner with a complete one without having to go all the way to Pharmacy.

Kit Check allows Technicians to be proactive about expiring medication management. Since expiration dates are set in the system and automatically checked as part of each scan, it is easy to see what is outdating further in advance. In the past, products that were not frequently used would expire on the same day, so there would be a run on those items at Pharmacy—another bottleneck that is now avoided.