Surgical Packs Boost Efficiency to Help Tackle Surgical Backlogs at Canadian Hospitals

Customized kits put supplies and equipment in one place to reduce setup time, maximize storage, minimize waste and promote clinical accuracy
image of surgical packs

After nearly three years of facing COVID-19, hospitals continue to feel its impacts as staffing resources stretch to their limits. A report in the Toronto Star found that in a period of just over two months, there were 86 instances where emergency rooms were closed at 17 different hospitals in Ontario, totalling more than 1,700 hours of lost service.1

This comes when surgical waitlists continue to grow – exasperated by the pandemic. In 2021, the median wait time between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment was 25.6 weeks — up from 22.6 weeks in 2020. Hospitals must find innovative ways to improve efficiencies to tackle these problems. 

Operating rooms (ORs) are one of the most critical areas in a hospital regarding patient well-being, budget health and clinical team morale. Maximizing efficiency in the OR is essential — scheduling surgeries, equipment preparation, allocation of resources, preparation of procedures, performance during surgery and more are all factors that influence performance. 

One trend in boosting productivity in ORs has been using surgical packs. Surgical packs enable clinicians to get the items they need packaged and ready to go in sterile and non-sterile formats, making the manual task of picking every item a thing of the past.

Surgical packs are customizable, but a typical kit would have all the materials and equipment for surgery in one place: gowns, gauze, sponges, specimen cups, sutures and suction tubing, and more.

From an efficiency perspective, surgical packs reduce setup time, create a standard of practice, maximize storage, boost productivity and minimize waste while optimizing product utilization and clinical accuracy. Given that some of the main factors that lengthen turnover times in ORs include inefficient processing of instruments, surgical packs represent an opportunity to tackle these fundamental problems.

Medline kitting experts work to analyze clinical and supply chain needs to maximize greater efficiencies and cost savings at the site level. Given the global uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness of supply chains, having agile professionals who can provide appropriate product substitution can go a long way in offsetting this issue.  

Hospitals across Canada face various challenges: staffing shortages, supply chain slowdowns and an aging population. They are looking for ways to increase the efficacy of their operations to ensure they are spending more time on patient care and less on tactical tasks. While surgical packs may seem common sense, they represent one of the many solutions Medline offers to help healthcare providers improve their operations and increase efficiencies. Proven to reduce pick times by 45% and setup times by 54%, surgical packs allow more time for patient care.

Surgical packs are part of Medline’s Complete Delivery System (CDS), which helps medical facilities simplify their supply management by using methodologies to link people, processes and supplies with proven time and cost savings. Medline’s experts assess supply management challenges, analyze current situations and uncover new opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste and deliver financial savings. With CDS, all perioperative supplies come in one box, which can achieve a touchpoint reduction of 96%.