Why Vendor Scheduling is a Challenge


The vast majority of late loaners are related to breakdowns in communication. Some hospitals believe if they could control the process for notifying the reps it will solve it. If they implement an automated notification process, they wouldn’t have any problems. But, this overlooks many of the challenges in getting to that reliable point.

Many hospitals already struggle with comprehensive and clean surgeon preferences. I’m not an expert in the space, but I have seen the quality of the data in an EHR where there the same procedure has 3 different names (TKA, Total Knee, Knee Arthroplasty). Which brings up some initial questions:

1. Which one of those procedures is used for which surgeon; when, and why? 2. How do you communicate minor variations of this procedure that might result in needing hardware/equipment from an additional vendor? 3. What are the steps for the surgeon to create or adjust these? 4. Do each get updated anytime there is a change in the preference?

These challenges are why surgeons might rely on their rep to help coordinate specifics for equipment. A trusted rep knows the specialty items that might be require for the different indications. When they don’t have that item available (like removal of an old prosthesis) they might take the responsibility of contacting a different rep on behalf of the surgeon.

For the surgeon, that’s easier than trying to communicate this message back through hospital channels where it may take more time and energy to explain everything.

Before trying to take on an entire automation process, it can be incredibly valuable to just begin tracking the data around what surgeons are bringing in for which surgeons and procedures. From there, the data can be utilized to start with more informed automations.