Improve Your Preference Card Management Processes

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Blog Posts, Recent News

Three surgeons in a surgery room

“One of these. Two of those. One of…uh-oh.” The last thing you want to discover is that you’re out of stock on an item when it’s too late to reorder. Inaccurate preference cards or underutilized preference card management processes mean that your labor, spend management and revenue aren’t as efficient as they should be.

With the supply chain challenges of the last few years, both pharma and med-surg item management have been more difficult. Last-minute substitutions and frantic replacement orders are often the norm. But let’s face it – nobody wants the last few years to be the new normal!

It’s a great time to check your Preference Card Management processes and see if a few improvements could save your staff time and your organization money – all while keeping patients and surgeons happy. 

6 Ways to Improve Preference Card Management 

1. Complacency is your enemy. Even though you can pick the supplies that Dr. X needs for Procedure Y blindfolded, keep proactively managing your preference cards. It’s how you’ll avoid the last-minute discovery of a stock-out or obsolete item, and the 11th-hour dash for a replacement.

2. For many, managing pharma has been even more difficult than equipment and supplies. Keep pharma items up-to-date on preference cards, so you have a built-in early warning system that helps ensure everyone from your anesthesiologist to your charge nurse has what they need.

3. Keep cards updated for physicians, procedures and CPT codes. You’ll streamline reporting and increase accuracy, with better analytics that clarify costs and profitability by procedure and surgeon.

4. Set up preference cards in stages, so you can manage everything that’s needed throughout a patient’s procedural journey – from pre-op to anesthesia, from med-surg to post-op and discharge. Set up and track items by stages to make it easier to know the exact items that are needed throughout.

5. Now, you can “pre-stage” your scheduled procedures. A best practice is to pick all the items needed for each stage and each procedure, during a time frame determined by your organization. Is it weekly? Daily?

Envi users often print the items at each stage to validate their pre-stage check. This check allows users to do actual ordering from preference cards, and see where they may be short, check on items with longer lead times, and even reach out to reps for implants (without the last-minute emergency).

6. Make life easier. Use the upload utilities feature with Envi to find and replace items across multiple preference cards. You can replace pharmaceuticals, obsolete items, or update preferred replacements. Because Envi integrates with major clinical systems, patient billing becomes more accurate, as does reporting on usage, costs, revenue, and ultimately, profitability throughout the organization.

Using Envi for preference card management is going to make it fast and easy to be current and accurate. You’ll save time on everything from ordering to picking, and proactively identify variances in procedures and costs. Want to learn how to better manage preference cards?