Clinicians at Imperial College Hospital in London say they are back to focusing on what’s most important.
“I’m really happy,” says Michael Fudge, a catheterization (cath) lab technician at Imperial College Hospital in London. “I have more time to spend with patients.”
Fudge is part of a team that sees 20,000 patients with heart problems each year. He works alongside nurses and cardiologists to deliver life-saving procedures inside Imperial’s cardiac cath labs. But in 2013, he – along with fellow Imperial clinicians – were managing product inventory and scheduling maintenance of lab equipment – instead of treating patients.
“Europe’s healthcare spend is 110 billion Euros per year,” says Rob Ten Hoedt, Medtronic’s president of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. “But about 20 percent of that is wasted in the way healthcare is delivered.”
What may have seemed like an unlikely partner to address the challenge, in 2013, Medtronic stepped in to help. The company introduced Imperial to its new Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) service, which is designed to help optimize care delivery, reduce waste, and put time and money back into the healthcare system.
“Imperial was being asked to do more with less,” says Medtronic’s Jo-Ann Multaney, who manages the hospital’s cath labs. “We wanted to support them and help them transform their department to be more efficient and more productive.”
Today, Medtronic is considered part of the Imperial College Hospital team – managing cath lab equipment and materials on a daily basis and finding new ways to better utilize hospital resources. The IHS team provides a “vendor independent” solution, ensuring the lab is stocked appropriately - regardless of whether that equipment and inventory comes from Medtronic or one of its competitors.
And the company has skin in the game. Medtronic pays for the inventory it manages, so if materials are overstocked and expired, the company takes the hit, not the hospital.
“We as a company need to feel ownership of the outcome,” Ten Hoedt says. “That’s part of the mission of Medtronic.”
The impact at Imperial Hospital is being felt by clinicians and patients alike. Staff has seen a decrease of 75 minutes per day looking for products. Less money is being wasted on overstocked or outdated supplies. Patient procedure on-time starts are up from 50 percent to over 90 percent. And overall staff retention is up.
“The key is to get staff away from having to worry about managing materials or trying to fix equipment,” says Multaney. “We’ve got Medtronic people on-site doing that now, so nurses are back to doing what they need to be doing – caring for patients.”
Medtronic estimates Imperial will save more than 1.5 million pounds over the next few years as the Integrated Health Solutions model expands into other areas of the hospital. In the first year, efficiency savings were approximately £840,000.
“With Medtronic, the whole thing is a massive time saver,” says Fudge. “Rather than doing paperwork or looking for products, I’m in the lab helping patients.”
“It’s about the patient,” adds Multaney. “We help to deliver the best care to the patient.”
Medtronic currently has similar partnerships with other cath labs around the world, managing approximately $1.5 billion in cardiac care.