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Employee idea leads to cost savings for the hospital and reduced waste

Arrow-Trerotola percutaneous thrombolytic device

At Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, we constantly strive to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Recently, Interventional Radiology/Interventional Nephrology Supervisor Jeff Elwood had an idea that he was able to bring to life, which will save the hospital roughly $18,000 per year.

Each year, Director of Interventional Nephrology Dirk Hentschel, MD, preforms more than 200 thrombectomies on Dialysis patients, a procedure that returns blood to a previously clotted blood vessel. For each case, Dr. Hentschel requires an Arrow-Trerotola percutaneous thrombolytic device. The device is sold as part of a kit that includes three pieces: a basket to break up the clot, a motor to drive it and a sheath to access the vascular system.

“Dr. Hentschel does not use the sheath provided with the kit, instead he uses a separate sheath that allows for much more versatility for his procedures. The sheaths from the kit are of no use in any other application, so then we have to throw them away,” explains Elwood.

In essence, BWFH has been buying two sheaths for every thrombectomy. “Because the Arrow-Trerotola percutaneous thrombolytic device is only available as part of kit, we end up spending more for each case and producing more waste,” says Elwood. “For a long time I wondered if we could buy the pieces separately.”

Finally, a new sales rep came on board who was willing to work with Elwood to sell the pieces of the kit separately, meaning BWFH now only needs to purchase the basket, the motor and the preferred sheath from another vendor. The result is big savings for the hospital.

“We estimate that the hospital will save about $18,000 per year with this new approach to buying. Plus, we are putting a lot less plastic waste into our environment,” says Elwood.

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