a different approach. “Hospitals have more defined roles, where ASC staff wears many hats,” said Garlock. “ASC staff must accomplish more with less. This can nar- row the amount of time ASC staff would ordinarily take to focus on supply chain management activities. As a result, it’s not uncommon for ASCs to rely on manual processes (e.g., using pen and paper or vi- sual eyeballing) to order supplies instead of ordering based on actual usage. Hospitals, on the other hand, have dedicated IT teams that can access and utilize data and technol- ogy to manage their inventory.”

Leveraging your uniqueness The clinical assessment process is designed to help ASCs recognize their strengths and use them to their advantage. But even ASCs are unique and can differ widely. “Every ASC is different and identifying issues in one center doesn’t mean all centers are hav- ing the same issue,” said Thomas. One example is Madison Outpatient Surgery Center, a Mississippi provider that realized it was generating lots of waste and relying on too many off-the- shelf items during procedures. Yet, they had trouble pinpointing just how much waste they were creating and why. Cardinal Health performed a clinical assessment and found that the ASC was using procedure packs modeled after

the ones used by a sister ASC, despite the differences in procedures each one performed. After making changes recom- mended by Cardinal Health the facility was able to save several thousands of dollars a year by reducing per-case supply costs, standardizing products, improving room turnover time and other changes.3 ASCs that undergo a clinical assessment

also learn to maximize existing space — an ongoing challenge for most facilities — with a variety of creative solutions including ideas that may seem simple at first but only thought of during evalua- tion. “For example, hanging instruments on the wall using something as simple as a peg board instead of storing them in drawers results in better space utilization and decreases the potential for breaks in sterility,” Garlock said. “We also find some ASCs with limited time could benefit from adopting a different process for follow- ing regulatory requirements. We might remind them of certain processes they need to take during a clinical assessment and suggest solutions that will ensure they stay consistently on track.” More specialized surgeries taking place in the ASC — right now and in the future — also means there will be a need for more medical equipment and supplies. A clini- cal assessment can help determine where to focus your cost-cutting strategies. For

example, “What resources can an ASC lease, consign or borrow to lessen financial burden of a new specialty?” said Garlock. “There are enhanced IT offerings available for the ASC space; many vendors are offer- ing barcode technology to order supplies, etc.,” added Thomas. “Tap into IT vendor resources, especially if you have new staff, or materials managers, who have never been trained on how to use technology to manage inventory.” As you can see, numerous opportunities for improvement exist — it’s just a matter of discovering what they are. If you want your ASC to do better, a clinical assess- ment from Cardinal Health can show you how. For more information, or to request a clinical assessment for your facility, visit or email Cardinal Health directly at ASC@

References 1 Sg2 Impact of Change (IoC) 2017

2 If customer receives any “discounts or other reductions in price” under Section 1128B(b)(3)(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.1320- 7b(b)(3)(a)) from Cardinal Health, Customer may be required to disclose the discounts or reductions in price under any state or federal program which provides cost or charge- based reimbursement to Customer for the products or services Customer buys from Cardinal Health, or as otherwise requested or required by any governmental agency.”

3 Cardinal Health case study, “Ahead of the Pack: How Madison

Outpatient Surgery Center optimizes its procedure pack pro- gram,” 2016. Customer release on file.


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