DUBLIN, Ohio – Cardinal Health WaveMark Supply Management & Workflow Solutions has released a whitepaper outlining how automated solutions for inventory management can mitigate supply chain operational issues. Using data from health systems that currently use Wavemark, the whitepaper shows how the business improved key health system metrics and outcomes.
According to the findings, supply chain costs are at an all-time high, with hospitals on average spending $12.1 million annually unnecessarily, including on product inventory that expires before it can be used.
“This is significant – hospitals and health systems are simply spending too much on their supply chain. An automated and clinically integrated workflow solution could mitigate these costs, decrease product wasted and improve patient safety,” said Shawn McBride, WaveMark vice president and general manager. “The pandemic especially exposed the need for tech-enabled supply chain innovations, like WaveMark, that provide better visibility to medical inventory at the point-of-care.”
Inventory management efficiencies are vital to allowing healthcare staff fighting COVID-19 to focus more time on patient care instead of product stocking decisions. Yet, according to the report, many hospitals and health systems are still manually tracking inventory – identified as one of the root causes for a “never event,” in which an expired or recalled product is used on a patient. Approximately 7% to 10% of clinical products expire on hospital shelves before being used – and more than 25% of hospital staff know of an instance where an expired or recalled product was used on a patient.
“Using a solution like Wavemark™ optimizes product stocking decisions and provides visibility to at-risk inventory which significantly reduces the number of expired products sitting on shelves and, at times, being used on patients,” McBride said. “Our customers use Wavemark™ to track products all the way from manufacturer to the point of patient care and are reporting an average of only 1.5% expirations on shelves. That represents an 85% improvement over industry average.”
These manual processes can also lead to underbilled patient care. Nearly 90% of patient cases are underbilled in some form, leading to more than $1.94 billion of revenue leakage for hospitals each year. In 2020, Wavemark™ tracked nearly 600,000 encounters in operating rooms and interventional suites throughout the U.S. with a near-perfect documentation accuracy of 99.8%, identifying an additional 8,500 clinically important, high-value products that weren’t documented at the point of care. This tracking enabled the average hospital to capture $7.7 million in supplies and an additional $65,000 to $212,000 in product charges that otherwise would have been lost.
“The opportunity for hospitals to regain some of this missed revenue is significant, but without supply visibility, you can’t identify problem areas that are costing you money,” McBride said. “Wavemark™ helps diagnose causes of supply issues and improves use of inventory – all resulting in major cost efficiencies and decreased revenue leakage. It also takes one more layer of distraction off our essential hospital staff so they can focus on what matters most: their patients.”