Explaining a Billion Dollar Problem in the Healthcare Supply Chain

An orderly is sent for an extra pillow for a patient on the floor: central supply scans the pillow out, and a replacement is queued in requisition software and automatically ordered shortly thereafter. A prescription is filled for the same patient on the floor, and the order is scanned and attached to the patient’s EHR. The patient is later sent for an MRI, and his wristband is scanned on arrival for the procedure. The O. R. implant tracking process The operating room represents the second largest budgetary spend area for a typical hospital. Yet, when implants or consumables are used during surgery, the items are logged manually, literally written down on scraps of paper or the cloth c

US Has No Good System to Track Medical Implants

Three years ago, the maker of a surgical clip called the Hem-o-lok issued an urgent recall notice warning doctors to stop using the fasteners on living kidney donors. It said the clips could dislodge in their bodies, with "serious, even life-threatening consequences." Not everyone got the message. Last October, a surgeon in Brooklyn used one of the clips to tie off Michael King's renal artery when he donated a kidney to his ailing wife. Twelve hours later, the clip popped off. King bled to death internally in the hospital as his wife lay helplessly nearby. He was 29. Experts say such deaths are the result of a major weakness in the nation's system for recalling thousands of medical devices r

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