Quality & Patient Safety

Inventory management helps prevent medical errors

Patient Safety Monitor, September 1, 2010

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Prior to 2005, the catheterization lab at Mercy Des Moines (IA)–Mercy Heart Hospital (MDM) had a team responsible for manual inventory of 2,200 medical items per day. This task was not only time-consuming, but it also put patients at high risk of coming in contact with an expired medical item and had hospital staff looking for unused pieces of equipment, which took them away from the bedside.

To remedy this situation, Lynda Wilson, administrative project analyst at MDM and certified Six Sigma black belt, took the initiative to find a way to automate the process of controlling and managing inventory tracking.

After some research, Wilson discovered Clinical Inventory Management Solution (CIMS), a product of WaveMark, Inc. CIMS is a computer cabinet that automatically keeps track of inventory.

Wilson also reviewed other products such as Lawson Software’s S3 Line™, but ultimately decided on CIMS. The product helped MDM reduce its inventory time by almost 500 hours per year, and nurses and staff were able to spend more hours at the bedside instead of tracking down lost medical equipment or double-checking expiration dates.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

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