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Recalls – The Worst Scavenger Hunt Ever

Arek Socha; photo courtesy of Pexels

According to FDA records, more than 4,400 drugs and medical devices were recalled in 2016 alone.

A recall is defined by the FDA as “a method of removing or correcting products that are in violation of laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Recalls can be extremely time consuming for hospitals to resolve. Depending on the size of the hospital or network, it can take weeks to account for all of the affected items. One IDN reported spending 40 hours to go through all of the carts, kits, and boxes across all sites in the network to make sure the recalled med was found and pulled.

Due to their unplanned nature recalls cannot be budgeted for in advance. This means at your labor budget is, to some degree, at the mercy of the recall process. And often, the labor used to deal with these crises is in the form of overtime. “Not only do recalls use unplanned labor; it’s unplanned expensive labor,” said a pharmacy director whose hospital had been affected by 200 recalls in one year.

Kit Check can help make dealing with recalls much more efficient, which saves time and money for the hospital and improves patient safety and care. Since medications and trays are tagged with location information, it is a simple matter to run a report and locate all of the recalled items, instead of having to inspect all kits, trays, and carts to find and pull them.

During a recent recall of an allergy treatment, a 500-bed hospital was able to use Kit Check to identify the arrest boxes that contained the affected drug. In just a few clicks, Kit Check was able to determine that none of the boxes contained the recalled lot number. Instead spending hours to of pulling nearly 50 arrest boxes from clinical areas to confirm the lot number was not present, they determined in seconds that the effort was unnecessary. Had the lot number been present in some of the boxes, Kit Check would have flagged the ones that were impacted. Kit Check’s tag location data lets users know where to quickly find kits and trays affected by recalls when required.

Here’s another example. A large IDN experienced a recall of sodium bicarbonate, which was in every one of the system’s kits and code carts, which were housed at multiple sites. When the recall came in, they though, “Oh no, here we go again.” But then they realized they could run a report from Kit Check to find out where the vials were. So instead of opening all 90 of the code carts across a sizeable geographical area, they only had to open four. Instead of taking hours and hours, this recall took 90 minutes.

Hear about how Kit Check has helped improve recall management at MedStar Georgetown.