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How one hospital improved its tissue management processes

I’ve never really thought about managing tissues respectfully and accurately like Health Central Hospital does. This organization carefully manages its surgical supply process through an inventory of tissue for hundreds of surgical procedures such as spinal procedures, orthopedic joint repair and skin grafts.

The organization turned to Allscripts Tissue Manager™ (formerly Horizon Tissue Manager) in 2015 to replace fragmented, manual processes. The electronic system helps the team improve patient safety, regulatory compliance, identification of tissue expiration and charge capture.

Its Materials Management department orders and receives the tissue for the hospital, tracking about 3,500 implanted items every year. “Our inventory involves about 100 different tissues each month,” Manager of Surgical Purchasing Resad Kotoric, MSN, said. “We need to track them all…you don’t want donated human tissue to ever be lost or discarded.”

Here is why Tissue Manager is successful for Health Central Hospital:

1. Improves tracking

Before implementing Tissue Manager, “We were doing our best to manage the expiration dates and materials on consignment…we had log books and an Excel program, but it was all very limited,” Director of Surgical Services Marcia Olieman RN, MBA, said.

The solution? “We needed to find a better way to track tissue from the point of receipt to implantation in the patient and everything along the way – things like temperature, who has access – to verify the integrity of each item and track it more easily if something goes wrong or there is a recall,” she said.

2. Makes it easy to build and upgrade system

Health Central Hospital’s small team didn’t hold them back from implementing Tissue Manager in August 2015. “We don’t have an informatics team, but we were able to build and do an upgrade with Allscripts and didn’t have to hire people to do it,” Olieman said.

“The McKesson, now Allscripts, team was very patient and made sure everything was right before we went live…we had very few issues,” System Administrator Bill Schmitt said.

3. Tracks tissue from receipt to implantation

Tissue Manager helps Health Central Hospital’s nurses determine the appropriate item for each case and trace everything easily.

In the rare cases when a recall is issued, the organization now has peace of mind that they will be able to find it. “Before Tissue Manager, we wouldn’t have had a way to go back and find a recall that had already been implanted into a patient,” Director of Surgery Center and Surgical Scheduling Jennifer Johns-Kraine, RN, BSN, CNOR, said.

4. Reduces waste

Health Central Hospital is now better able to proactively manage its tissue inventory. Color-coded screens and alerts help notify staff when an item is about to expire, which helps the hospital to return and exchange consignment inventory back to tissue banks or vendors before expiration.

Results of this include reducing the amount of inventory lost to expiration from an estimated 20% to 2%.

5. Improves compliance with better documentation

Tissue Manager guides Health Central Hospital to document information required for regulatory compliance and alerts staff of missing information.

Health Central Hospital now achieves a higher level of quality assurance to successfully complete audits with the FDA and The Joint Commission. “The Joint Commission surveyor praised our senior-level leaders for having the insight to invest in Tissue Manager for patient safety and regulatory compliance.”

To get a closer look at Health Central Hospital’s journey with Tissue Manager, download this case study. 

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