Practice Cost Savings with Custom Packs

by Bret Buhler and Dave Landry

In today’s economic environment, the cost of doing business is increasing, while reimbursement continues to decline. As a result, practices and surgeons must become more cognizant of expenses and recurring costs, and also become overall more efficient in their practice and delivery of patient care. custom surgical procedure packs offer a key approach to cost savings , that can ultimately save a practice on labor, overhead, and unnecessary waste.

The use of pre-assembled custom packs, which has been around for years, is not often utilized by facilities specializing in the treatment of endovenous disease. In order to understand the advantages of custom packs, it is important to focus on the measurement of your costs. The cost of supplies used during the procedure are easy to determine by referencing invoices; however, the cost of labor, facility overhead, and waste disposal is more difficult to quantify. Trying to lower these costs is often ignored because it is difficult to determine the monetary savings.

Every time a disposable item is included in a custom pack rather than being handled separately, the facility saves on costs associated with labor, overhead and waste. For instance, an endovenous procedure can involve up to 30 disposable items. The labor associated with ordering and tracking the inventory levels is time consuming. It may take staff a significant amount of time to pull each separate item, where as pulling one customized pack is much less time spent. The overhead is virtually cut in half on set up time alone, therefore creating more operating room time that could lead to more procedures each day.

Unnecessary waste can be reduced by using a custom pack. The unused items that must be disposed through bio-hazardous methods that come out of a general pack, take up both time and labor, increasing a facility’s costs. The unused items are then added to our country’s waste stream. These efforts can be avoided with the use of one customized pack. The surgical staff opens up 1 package instead of 30 separate items. The hidden cost associated with handling multiple items is then eliminated and the environmental impact is lessened.

Many facilities will purchase sterile separates because the distributer representatives drive them in that direction. Other facilities use general surgical packs that are sometimes referred to as custom, but are standard by specialty. The third and most cost effective method is a truly customized pack that is specific to the surgeon. Only the components that are needed in that procedure -- that he/she chooses -- will be in the pack. All custom packs can include any disposable item needed, eliminating the unnecessary waste. True custom packs have the facility name on them and are manufactured specifically for the surgeon(s).

There are many ways of reducing recurring costs in practices today. Becoming more efficient by utilizingtechnology and seeking out the most cost effective facility overhead will help your organization control capital costs and recurring expenditures. customizing a surgical procedure pack will allow the facility to save on costs related to labor, overhead, and waste. With the addition of a custom pack, the staff can better utiliize their time on patients, in the operating room for set up, and in improving the overall quality of life for the patient and staff.