Consumable management service enhances patient safety and traceability

Althea deploys end-to-end service for tacking radiology products at Musgrove Park Hospital

The new system is helping to improve patient safety and supply chain efficiency

A pioneering consumable management service has been introduced by Althea at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton as an integral part of its radiology managed service.

Althea has enabled the trust to track all radiology products from the moment they are sourced until they are assigned to a patient.

This service enables the delivery of better patient care, improved clinical productivity, and supply chain efficiency; while futureproofing the trust against the Department of Health and Social Care’s Scan4Safety criteria.

Althea’s service includes a bespoke inventory management system and an on-site stock controller who ensures the clinical team can maintain their focus on patient care.

Once products arrive from the centralised Receipt & Distribution area, Althea’s stock controller adds them to the inventory management system via a handheld scanner.

The stock controller then decants the right products into the right areas of the radiology department, ensuring there is the appropriate quantity and size of products available for each procedure.

Thereafter the stock controller ensures stock obsolescence is eliminated.

At point-of-care the clinical team then utilise a handheld scanner to assign the product to the patient – including lot and serial numbers. This allows for lifetime traceability as well as facilitating procedure-level costings for the hospital’s management team.

Once consumed the product is removed from the inventory and an automated replenishment order is raised, with all procurement and finance activities performed by Althea’s back-office team – providing the trust with further efficiency savings.

Dr Katharine Lewis, clinical lead for interventional radiology, said: “This system can track an exact product to a particular patient, which enhances patient safety.

“We also benefit from the system updating our stock volumes in real-time, enabling us to maintain efficient stock levels to meet clinical demands and we feel it has improved our efficiency and service overall.”

David Rolfe, UK&I chief executive at Althea, added: “A lot of hospitals have inventory systems in place. However, what they cannot do is track every product against a patient and be able to deliver traceability.

“This innovative service is extremely advanced, and we are delighted that it has made such an impact to the trust.”

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