Of the 30,000+ procedures scheduled in Surgio Health’s Vendor platform, 8,100 (27%) of those were delivered late (by hospital policy). For SPD, this means over 25,000 trays had to be processed with haste. The unintended consequences of this alone are a conversation for another time. The question for today is "Why?" Why are these trays being delivered late? As reported by reps during a late delivery, here are the top 3 reasons:
1. Late case add-on (31%)
2. Tray unavailable (26%)
3. Last minute request (16%)
It’s reasonable to label numbers 1 and 3 as communication breakdowns. This isn’t surprising after reviewing the process by which reps find out about a procedure they are needed for. It’s highly variable. Here’s a list of common sources of notification:
The surgeon * The surgeon’s PA/MA * Facility scheduler * Facility coordinator * Facility SPD staff * Charge nurse in the OR (not good!)
Reliable reps know they can’t depend on any single person and often proactively reach out and double-check. Unfortunately, humans aren’t perfect, and notifying the rep isn’t always top of mind. This ultimately leads to situations where a patient is on the table and equipment isn’t available. Tray availability is understandable even for short lead-times. The number of sets available to a rep is dependent on their manufacturer’s ability to appropriately ration their inventory. That inventory isn’t cheap, so they stretch what they have. Unfortunately, this is far from a science for many companies and often a point of contention with their reps.
Ultimately, laziness isn’t the main culprit of late deliveries. Improved communication and continuous performance analysis can go a long way to everyone’s benefit.