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Made-to-measure sets – a solution for hospital savings

Caroline Burger

Leiderdorp Hospital, the Netherlands

Saving time, cost control and attention to the quality of care – are key elements for the managers evaluating processes in hospitals. One of these processes is the management of widely understood dressing materials. The solution used in the Leiderdrop Hospital in the Netherlands are so called „custom made” sterile procedure sets. The hospital has used that system for many years.

One of the elements to improve work efficiency in the operating suite is the application of „custom-made” sterile procedure sets, which include all disposable materials needed to perform the surgery, in particular: OP-drapes, gowns, absorbent products and a scalpel. It happens that some special procedures need to be also supplemented with different accessories.

Using a procedure set has many advantages.

  • Using procedure sets may contribute to standardise the action mode during an operation. A multidisciplinary team (medical specialists, purchase department, logistics department and manufacturer’s product specialist) determine the optimal composition of the set. When the operating procedure gets standardised, it is easier to coordinate the planning of raw materials according to the action plan in the operating room. In this way, the hospital can effectively manage the inventory, monitor the consumption (which must be compatible with the quantity of performed procedures) and thus reduce costs.
  • The use of procedure sets can simplify work for the surgical team. This is important for safety reasons, especially in an emergency, when every minute counts, and the time saving can decide about the patient’s life. It is also important for economic reasons: the possibility to perform procedures in a shorter time means that the operating room can be used more efficiently.
  • The management of single sterile components needed to perform a surgery requires a large amount of work. One should indicate not only the time and effort associated with their collection and preparation for a surgery, but most of all work associated with maintaining stock which is safe for hospital functioning. The logistics associated with the management of individual sterile components is far more complicated than the process of logistics related to the management of ready-to-use sterile procedure sets. The simplification of this process increases epidemiological security simultaneously reducing costs.
  • An important aspect in considering the advisability of implementing sterile procedure sets is their price. The supplier of a procedure set – because of the scale of delivery – is able to reduce the purchase price of the components. Consequently, the price at which a hospital buys components from a single source must be smaller than the total price of purchased components from multiple suppliers.
  • The implementation of procedure sets can reduce the costs associated with the disposal of packaging, which are the reminiscent of the individual components.

In conclusion, the procedure sets simplify all stages of logistics associated with the supply of the operating room in the widely understood dressing material, enable to monitor their consumption, and consequently lead to lower the costs.

Nurse assisting in surgeries at the hospital in Leiderdrop:

„I cannot imagine working without the procedure sets. Earlier preparation for an operation was very time-consuming. We had to complete all sterile products, check them, and open one by one. The procedure sets, which we now use are “tailored” to our needs. The saved time we can devote to the patient or perform additional operations. An important advantage is the stable quality of disposable materials. We use disposable drapes, thus eliminating the problem of dusting in an operational environment. Currently, we use six different procedure sets e.g.: for surgical procedures, for surgery of the head, neck and limbs. The use of these specialised sets to me and my colleagues has only advantages.”



Manager of the operating rooms, introducing the system of procedural sets in the hospital in Leiderdrop:

„As a manager I am always looking for ways to reduce costs and increase productivity. We have analysed the costs of the application of procedure sets and came to the conclusion that the time gained in the operating room directly translates into financial benefits. In addition, we save since the set price is lower and we keep less inventory. We didn’t act rashly, before the purchase we gathered a group of experts to develop a set of wide range of applications. This team with the supplier developed together several procedure sets. They were tested and then, according to our requirements, were adjusted to our needs. The standardisation of the work of all professionals was necessary to ensure the efficient use and broad application of the sets. For this joint effort and commitment were maximally rewarded. The productivity in the operating room has increased and the sets are used with our full satisfaction.”