Not allowing reps access to the surgical schedule creates more risk than it solves.
If you’ve worked in ortho and spine cases, it’s likely you have experienced a situation where a patient is on the table but the implants or instruments are nowhere to be found because the rep wasn’t notified. This is usually the result of inconsistent rep notification procedures. Because access to the surgical schedule is taboo, reps are totally reliant on that process from the facility, surgeon, or surgeon’s office to prepare.
With everything else the hospital staff, surgeon, and surgeon’s office have going, it’s understandable that this notification step can sometimes slip through the cracks. Everyone involved thinks someone else is doing it.
Why not let your reps help you? Their business is dependent on being prepared for those procedures, so they are the most motivated to proactively review that schedule (void of PHI obviously) for where their equipment may be necessary.
By involving them in the process you should significantly decrease the chances of missed cases, while also helping drive more efficiencies and standardization.
When reps can properly plan with the surgeon, they don’t have to take the “kitchen sink” approach of bringing everything that could possibly be needed. Hospital/ASC’s could even make them responsible for communicating their awareness of procedures days or weeks in advance to encourage more accountability.
We’ve previously reviewed strategies for Reducing Late Loaned Tray Deliveries which requires more data and reporting. Sharing the schedule and making your vendors accountable in the process is a simple first step that can make a big impact.