Hospital instruments: “The black hole”
Do you know your sterile materials inventory? Bought and then forgotten. Interestingly, the inventory and location of trays and instruments is often not exactly known, especially in larger hospitals. Unfortunately, trays and instruments often also disappear. As a result, unnecessary purchases are often made to provide needed instruments while other instruments pass their sterility expiration dates.
What are the costs of a tray and/or and instrument? The purchasing costs are not the only significant expenses. The costs for sterilization, repair and maintenance that arise throughout the lifecycle should also be considered. In addition, every inventory contains trays that create unnecessary cost because the contents of the tray were poorly selected. Transparency of these costs is the basis of effective decision-making about new instrument purchases and instrument allocation.
How often are surgeries delayed because necessary trays or instruments are not available? Finding out that the necessary trays or instruments are not available right before surgery is not only upsetting - it also costs money.