News | November 28, 2018

Operating Room Automated Supply Chain Solution Simplifies Operations And Improves Patient Experience

Dublin, Ohio /PRNewswire/ - Cardinal Health inventory management solutions (also known as WaveMark™) has introduced a supply chain automation solution designed for the unique challenges hospitals face in operating rooms (OR). The solution is a single health system-wide platform that allows hospitals to streamline their OR processes, reduce costs and improve efficiency through real-time inventory visibility and prescriptive analytics. With up-to-the-minute insights and wrap-around logistics, hospital operations can rise to level of excellence needed to support and advance their cost position and clinical ambitions.

To learn more about how Cardinal Health's OR automated supply chain solution improves workflow and decision making, visit or schedule a tour at the experience center located in Concord, MA.

"We recognized that the OR supply chain is not only one of the most expensive areas in a hospital, it's also one of the most challenging. By ensuring that resources are in the right place and available when needed, we help our customers maintain their focus on improving on improving patient care," said John Roy, vice president and general manager of WaveMark™ at Cardinal Health. "The sheer scale, complexity and unique requirements of the OR call for a supply chain solution developed specifically for the OR, which considers aspects of people, process and technology."

OR expenses make up 40–60 percent of total hospital supply costs, and the inventory for an average 15-room OR includes an estimated 3,000–4,000 products in multiple locations.1 These supplies must flow through varied processes, and some might have specific requirements for tracking, documentation and compliance. Biological tissue, for example, has strict Joint Commission requirements around chain of custody.2

In a changing healthcare landscape, the stakes for managing costs and ensuring efficiency couldn't be higher. In a recent survey, Cardinal Health revealed:

  • 40 percent of surgical staff and hospital supply chain decision-makers knew of a case being cancelled due to missing supplies.
  • 23 percent reported they had seen or heard a patient being harmed due to a lack of supplies.
  • 92 percent saw the need for an inventory management system designed for the specific volume and nature of supplies in the OR.3

These numbers are too big to ignore. There's a critical need for data-driven insights and a suggested course of action that aligns the supply chain with clinical teams. To help address these challenges, Cardinal Health worked closely with hospital providers to expand its existing enterprise inventory management platform, tying in all aspects of the supply chain.

Automated supply and workflow management solutions help eliminate manual processes and redundant documentation that's time-consuming and error-prone.

The solution brings diverse data and workflows together seamlessly to save time, cut costs, and provide "peace of mind" for clinical staff and supply chain administrators. Improved workflows and automation free up clinical staff's time to focus on what matters most: patient care.

Key features of the solution include:

  • A single platform. A single intuitive dashboard provides alerts for things that need immediate attention (short-dated, slow-moving, recalled, or missing items), while the analytics suite pulls together multiple streams of supply data and case cost information to ensure complete visibility, from receipt to usage to order.
  • Prescriptive analytics. Prescriptive analytics not only predict future needs but also provide a course of action to manage supply related challenges proactively.
  • Interoperability. The solution's interface ensures interoperability with existing hospital systems, including Materials management system (MMIS), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Clinical Information Systems (ORIS, Cath lab reporting), leveraging easy-to-use data collection technologies and processes, such as handheld smart wands, RFID smart cabinets, point-of-use stations, barcode systems, and Kanban.
  • Improved visibility. Improved visibility means clinicians always have the right product in the right place at the right time, ensuring expired or recalled supplies never reach the patient. Seamless interoperability between previously siloed systems provides a more accurate picture of delivered care cost, giving hospitals the necessary insights to forecast needs and identify savings opportunities.
  • Flexible reporting. Flexible reports show the impact of supplies on OR operations including cost-per-encounter; physician level utilization; expired, missing or recalled products; and usage (charge capture).
  • Scalability. The solution is designed to be highly flexible and scalable, to allow for a phased deployment while supporting your teams through change management.
  • Change management. An experienced operations team works closely with customers to understand their unique challenges through on-site evaluation and assessments, recommend right solution mix (process, technology, labor augmentation), implement the solution, identify ongoing opportunities (post go-live) for savings through dedicated account management team, and provide necessary support.

This solution allows hospitals to adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach that aligns operational and financial planning, drives better adoption of the solution, and leverages analytics for informed decisions that are focused on supporting the hospitals' broader strategic objectives.

"We've seen firsthand the extraordinary challenges facing OR staff," said Roy. "And we've seen the limitations and significant costs of relying on a patchwork of separate systems. Building on everything we've learned over years working with OR leaders, we've built a solution that gives clinical staff and OR supply chain administrators the critical tools they need to cut costs, save time, support patient care, and make informed decisions."

About Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health, Inc. is a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices worldwide. The company provides clinically proven medical products, pharmaceuticals and cost-effective solutions that enhance supply chain efficiency from hospital to home. Cardinal Health connects patients, providers, payers, pharmacists and manufacturers for integrated care coordination and better patient management. To help combat prescription drug abuse, the company and its education partners created Generation Rx, a national drug education and awareness program. Backed by nearly 100 years of experience, with approximately 50,000 employees in nearly 60 countries, Cardinal Health ranks #14 on the Fortune 500. For more information, visit, follow @CardinalHealth on Twitter, @cardinalhealthwings on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn at company/cardinal-health.

1 Effective Operating Room Inventory Management. Denver, CO: Pfiedler Enterprises; 2016.

2 The Joint Commission standards

3 Cardinal Health Operating Room Supply Chain Survey Fielded Nov. 2-Nov. 15, 2017.

Source: Cardinal Health

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