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September 18, 2008updated 06 Sep 2016 3:04pm

COA treats Cornwall NHS Trust to PRM system

COA Solutions has announced that The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is implementing its patient-level resource management (PRM) system to replace inefficient paper-based stock management processes.

By Steve Evans

The deal, valued at £75,000, uses barcode scanning technology and is said to be a ‘first of its kind’ rollout. The company says it will initially be implemented in 20 theatres at the Trust’s hospitals. Once theatre implementation is complete the new system will be rolled out at other high-cost areas, such as Clinical Imaging and Intensive Care.

It is hoped the new system will enable the Trust to have greater control over product requisitioning and expenditure, as it can provide costing and usage information for around 4,000 product lines. The Trust hopes that the new system will reduce over-ordering of products.

Steve Renfree, clinical lead for procurement at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said: For the first time, we have an accurate view of stock levels across the Trust. In the past, theatres have paid for expensive overnight deliveries to obtain stock, which may have been available elsewhere in the Trust. Using PRM, we can instantly see which products are located where to avoid duplication and cut waste. As the system also automatically re-orders products at agreed stock levels, staff are freed-up to concentrate on more value-adding activities.

The Trust wanted a system that would integrate with its EROS eProcurement system, which is provided by COA Solutions, and provide product information at various levels, such as patient, theatre and surgery level.

Renfree said: The system needed to produce stock reports, automatically replenish products when they were getting low, allow us to analyse ordering trends and importantly, enable us to determine how much each procedure and each surgeon is costing the Trust to ensure we are cost effective. We couldn’t find a system on the market that fulfils these criteria and so decided to work with COA Solutions, the provider of our EROS system, to develop a suitable solution from scratch. It took just six months from the initial specification of the system through to the June 2008 go-live and we’re delighted by the results.

Using barcode technology, the PRM can scan and record the serial number and cost of every product used. The company says that this will enable the trust to keep track of spend per patient and procedure.

By using PRM with our theatre system and the introduction of the electronic patient record, we will be able to calculate exactly how much each patient and each hospital area is costing us at any given time. This is our ultimate goal, enabling us to run the Trust as cost-effectively and as efficiently as possible, Renfree said.

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