Amanda Akers

How UTMC Leveraged PrefTech to Improve Preference Card Accuracy

Interview with Angela Wrigley at UTMC

Angela Wrigley is the Director of Supply Chain and Value Analysis for Perioperative Services at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. In her role, she focuses on clinical equivalence for product requests, optimizing financial impact, and product availability. Her team also strives to maintain the appropriate PAR levels of meaningful inventory in order to avoid interrupting or delaying surgical cases. On the flip side, she also wants to make sure that the hospital is not maintaining costly inventory that is no longer valuable to the surgical team.

Angela, can you tell me what challenges around preference card accuracy you were experiencing prior to using PrefTech?

UTMC had been experiencing numerous challenges around preference card accuracy. Management of our preference cards was ineffective, and we were eager to clean them up in anticipation of an upcoming EMR conversion. As the Director of Supply Chain Value Analysis for Peri-Op, I knew how important it was to address these accuracy challenges and begin tackling them prior to our EMR conversion, so that was a huge factor in our decision to adopt a software solution.

What were your initial thoughts when you first investigated PrefTech?

We ran into PrefTech in mid-2020; it was a Preference Card Management software solution that seemed like it could prove helpful in tackling our challenges. As always, we examined this software solution with a critical eye. There appeared to be great value associated with its use, but we had some questions. Would our staff adopt and use it? Would the value of the software be clear to everyone? And would we get our ROI if we purchased it? Thankfully, we were able to sign a pilot contract so we could take it for a test drive before we committed to signing a 3-year agreement.

Tell me about the implementation process for PrefTech.

After we signed the pilot agreement, PrefTech delivered us a baseline and opportunity report to show us exactly how much opportunity for improvement was available. We learned, for example, how much pull cost and return cost we were dealing with. There was clearly a lot of scope for meaningful change, so we were eager to start using the software in order to realize that change as quickly as possible. We were so pleased with the implementation, value, and opportunity that PrefTech delivered that we quickly moved from our pilot contract into a three-year contract with PrefTech.

How has your team reacted to the software, and what have been some of your successes since implementation?

Once we got the software into the OR team’s hands, they lost no time in taking advantage of the opportunity that existed in the PrefTech platform. They continue to use the platform regularly, and it has showed us a value-add of over $3.5 M. Our excess supply returns have decreased by an average of 30-50% per case.

Each quarter, the PrefTech team delivers an executive review that shows us clearly the progress we have made and where additional opportunity for improvement exists. I use these reports during perioperative meetings with my team, and they really help motivate my staff to continue to use the software. The PrefTech team has been fantastic; we truly feel we have a partnership with them, and they have been quite supportive in answering all our questions, providing ongoing training, and responding to our reporting and data requests. We are looking forward to seeing the additional value we can derive from continued use of the platform.

Closing: Amanda Akers

As I close out this interview, I would like to ask our readers a question. If Angela’s story resonates with you, or if you have encountered similar struggles to those of Angela and her team, what is holding you back from adopting a Preference Card Management (PCM) solution software? We would be thrilled to help you achieve the same results Angela has seen with her team. Every facility deserves to have the tools necessary to improve preference card accuracy, decrease supply waste, and increase savings. Let us help you achieve more.