Archive Hot Technology 2019

The Perks of Paperless Preference Cards

Digital platforms take the stress out of knowing you'll have the supplies you need when and where you'll need them.

Jay Jadlowski

Jay Jadlowski

BIO

Joni Turner

Joni Turner, RN, MSN

BIO

UP TO DATE
Dan Johnson, Methodist Health System
UP TO DATE Christine Nordstrom, RN, manages preference cards at Nebraska Methodist Hospital and ensures the information they contain is current and consistent.

You sorted, stacked and sifted. Crossed out, erased and added. It took several months and several bottles of Advil, but your facility's preference cards are finally up to date. They note every supply and every instrument every one of your surgeons wants for every procedure they perform. Congrats on a job well done! Now sit back and relax. It'll be at least a couple days until one of your docs changes his mind about the prep he prefers or the laparoscope he likes.

You're probably well aware that trying to maintain paper preference cards is often an exercise in futility, and that inaccurate and out-of-date information can grind the surgical schedule to a halt and put patients in harm's way. Why go through all that trouble and subject yourself to all that worry when a digital preference card system can do all the heavy lifting? Our health system recently implemented the technology, which has improved the way we manage supplies and the care we provide.

When we enter a surgery into the system, it automatically generates a preference card based on the scheduled procedure and the surgeon who'll perform it. The card includes a pick list of the supplies, equipment and instruments needed for the case. Staff in the supply storage area print out the preference card the day before the scheduled surgery. They pick needed supplies, scan bar codes on each supply and place the items on case carts, which are wheeled to the OR on the day of surgery. As we pick and scan supplies, the system automatically deducts them from the general inventory count.

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