Supply chain problems are causing hospitals to cancel and delay procedures because of a lack of supplies, according to a new Cardinal Health survey of surgical staffs and hospital supply chain decision-makers.
Four in 10 respondents said they canceled a case and 69% delayed a case because of missing supplies.
Cardinal Health said inventory management systems aren't current and nearly all operating room clinicians want hospitals to design an inventory management system that’s designed for specific volume and nature of supplies in the OR.
Bad supply chains can lead to patient harm and hurt hospital finances, but major changes in hospital supply chains remain lacking.
A whopping 92% of providers in the survey supported an inventory management system “designed for the specific volume and nature of supplies in the OR.” Also, 27% said they have seen or heard of an expired product being used on a patient. And 23% have seen or heard a patient harmed because of a lack of supplies.
Cardinal Health said ORs need better supply chain management systems and analytics. That would help reduce cost and improve patient safety.
In announcing the findings, John Roy, vice president and general manager at Cardinal Health Inventory Management Solutions, said health systems financial challenges can cause issues in ORs, which is one of the most costly parts of a hospital.
The issues go back to inventory management systems as 83% of respondents said their organizations manually count in some part of the supply chain.
Improving supply chains is seen as a key way hospitals can contain costs.
"Fixing these challenges requires thinking beyond the shelf," Roy said. "We believe streamlining processes and gathering real-time data through automated inventory systems can transform inventory management from a 'necessary evil' to a powerful tool that supports better quality of care."