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Spine Surgeons Waste Millions On Opened, Unused Implant Devices



Surgeons at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center estimate that more than $126 million a year is spent nationwide by spine surgeons improperly using or disposing of medical implant devices, but say that waste easily can be avoided.



1 comments on "Spine Surgeons Waste Millions On Opened, Unused Implant Devices"
Apurv Gupta (11/10/2011 at 5:07 PM)

Really enjoyed reading this article, which reveals a highly successful deployment of a "performance improvement project". A similar "performance improvement" approach can work in improving quality, mitigating risk, and improving patient safety. Just to make the elements clear to all leaders, I'm posting my blog on this topic below. The article identifies the following "performance improvement tactics" that should be integral components of all improvement projects: ** Examined how much they used and spent (review and monitor data) ** Questioned why each device was being being used (ask why five times) ** Studied reasons for wastage (undertake root cause analysis) ** Asked surgeons, operating room personnel, industry representatives, and nurses to help them identify waste (seek multi-disciplinary input) ** Compiled lists of who had been wasting more instruments than others (create profiles) ** Shared lists [of waste generators] with each other (create report cards) ** Awareness campaign (educate) ** Physician leadership prompted change (get support from leadership) The key behavioral drivers that project leader, Dr. Kevin McGuire, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, identified are "physicians are competitive in nature" and "no one wants to be an outlier". Understanding these drivers is key to understanding some of the performance improvement tools and how to deploy them effectively.