Using barcodes to track mechanical hearts

Using Orca Scan, the Sacred Heart Medical Center in Washington, US, have streamlined a 5-hour a week painstaking process of tracking medical devices which combined paper forms, spreadsheets and custom software development into a 30-minute error and paper-free process.

The Cardiology Team are now able to confidently:

We had all types of typo errorsand the inventory was inaccurate half the time because we didn’t have time to sit down and manually update it

Sacred Heart Medical Center is a major regional medical center featuring the best doctors, specialists and staff from all around the world.

One of them is Dr David Sato, a Senior Cardiologist leading a team of engineers at the Medical Institute Cardiology in Washington. David’s team is responsible for cardiovascular implants such as the Ventricular Assist Device which are, quite literally, saving people’s lives.

We had the privilege of talking to David about how his team meet the needs of their patients by tracking their inventory of mechanical hearts and other medical devices.

I use Orca Scan to track a million-dollar inventory
Dr David SatoMechanical Heart Engineer and CardiologistProvidence
With Orca Scan, you can streamline time-intensive paper-based trails into a simple error-free process.
With Orca Scan, you can streamline time-intensive paper-based trails into a simple error-free process.

David explained how important it is that his team monitor their inventory levels to ensure they always have sufficient medical devices on hand when their patients need them.

Maintaining audit trails from receiving the implants into stock, to eventually assigning them to a patient in the operating theatre, is of equal importance; “We use Orca Scan to record which devices have been assigned to which patient”.

How it used to work

To accomplish this for the dozens of devices received daily, they:

Combining paper forms, spreadsheets and custom software development were painful. It required lots of manual checks to reduce the potential error rate from manually entering serial numbers and would consume around 5 hours per week.

Time for a change

Assign the quantity of your items when you scan the barcode.
Assign the quantity of your items when you scan the barcode.

The unreliability of the process and the time it consumed, made it clear to David that he needed to find a more efficient solution - so he started on the App Stores.

“I tried several apps, but Orca Scan was the most reliable at reading all types of barcodes. The way it handles the data and automatically uploads was great.”

How it works now

David and his team now use Orca Scan to track their inventory. Their new process looks like this:

It would take 5 hours a week to do this process manually - it’s down to 30 minutes
Dr David SatoMechanical Heart Engineer and CardiologistProvidence

Ready to start scanning?