As healthcare systems continue to focus on optimizing operations and improving physician collaboration on the reduction of redundant technology, inventory management is an increasingly important function.
While trauma implants and instrumentation may seem like a challenging place to start, trauma product management can become more predictable and efficient by involving multiple teams in standardizing inventory management, including the sterile processing department, supply chain professionals, clinicians, and other health system employees.
Operative trauma facilities are known for their lack of predictability, severe swings in patient and supply volume, and emergent events requiring instant access to instruments and implants to support critical care. Inventory management and resource availability can be both challenging and costly, and can pose an additional burden on clinicians, whose main priority is patient care.
The average hospital has between 6,000-8,000 SKUs onsite and may carry as many as 35,000 SKUs on the books at any given time, according to 2010 research. Trauma centers tend to carry many different SKUs to prepare for any patient that could walk through the door.
And according to Research and Markets, the trauma products market is expected to be worth more than $8 billion by 2022, up from almost $6 billion in 2017. This market growth is likely to make poor trauma inventory management an even bigger burden on health systems.
Like many health systems, Centura Health had built an abundance of excess inventory due to outdated inventory management programs, which was tying up space in their facilities and drawing on financial resources that could be used elsewhere.
In addition, Centura Health was facing full-time employee overload from manual ordering and inventory practices related to its DePuy Synthes trauma implants, largely caused by a lack of visibility into the procurement and inventory management processes.
Due to the complex nature of trauma, Centura Health orders often exceeded 100 line items, which could take more than an hour to complete. To place an order, Centura Health employees had to keep product packaging on hand and manually type each product’s details into their system. Once the product arrived, it took more time to properly store each item so it could be easily located for future use.
Centura Health collaborated closely with a team from JJMDC to analyze its supply chain trauma and implant inventory management process. Together, they created and piloted a program across eight facilities to create a more predictable trauma inventory management process.
The team leveraged CareAdvantage from the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (CareAdvantage) and brought together JJMDC sales and supply chain teams, as well as Centura Health clinical and supply chain professionals, to collaborate on a custom solution to address Centura Health’s unique needs.
CareAdvantage is a holistic approach to help health systems realize better care by aligning the broad capabilities of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to their individual needs.
To help improve predictability of inventory management of DePuy Synthes trauma products, the organizations implemented a three-step approach.
Step One: Needs assessment and insights generation. The organizations conducted comparative gap analysis on the order processing time and counted on-hand trauma inventory to understand which sites were performing better than others. This step uncovered internal best practices to replicate across sites, roadblocks to improving visibility and efficiencies, opportunities for standardization of process workflow documentation, and multidisciplinary collaboration opportunities in ordering changes.
Step Two: Supply chain mapping. Every step of the workflow, starting with the surgical procedure through JJMDC product order placement and receipt, was mapped and analyzed to examine where gaps exist or errors could occur.
Step Three: Workflow comparison. The team compared process maps between facilities to design a single standard centralized process and inform the desired quality for each JJMDC trauma SKU and set up controlled ordering limited to only the items needed.
Freeing Up Time And Capital
After five months following the new protocols, Centura Health was able to reduce excess DePuy Synthes trauma inventory by $357,000 and reduce order processing time by 38 hours per week across its network.
Centura Health and JJMDC continue to collaborate to identify opportunities to further automate and improve supply chain processes for JJMDC products.
While trauma supply and implant inventory management will always be somewhat variable, collaborative and forward-thinking partnerships between medical device suppliers and the provider networks they support will remain key to successful management.
Disclaimer: These materials are intended to assist hospital stakeholders, who may be involved in quality improvement, controlling costs, and informing purchasing choices, in technology appraisals related to trauma products. The information contained herein represents no statement, promise or guarantee by JJMDC concerning expected costs, range or rates of clinical outcomes associated with trauma products. Information should be carefully considered along with clinical experience/practice, treatment patterns and other factors pertaining to the specific institution.