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Product standardisation in theatres to deliver a further saving of £150,000

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) has saved £421,000 using a Patient-level Resource Management (PRM) system from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). RD&E has also considerably improved stock control in the theatres and now has access to invaluable spending insight. By standardising on certain products used in surgery, RD&E is looking to achieve a further 3 per cent cost saving on the Trust’s £5.5 million theatre budget, equating to an additional £150,000.

As a leading foundation trust, RD&E needs to ensure that excellence is being delivered in all areas. Stock control, especially in the theatres, was identified as an area in need of improvement as no standard, efficient means to manage stock existed. An IT solution that could deliver improved stock control and greater procurement insight, while having the ability to cost the whole patient pathway, was therefore required.

PRM from Advanced was selected as RD&E’s preferred solution and by November 2010, it had been successfully implemented across all 23 of the Trust’s main theatres. RD&E is currently looking to roll-out PRM to a further four day case theatres.

Theatre staff are using PRM to capture the detail and cost of all items used for surgery, from anaesthetic through to surgical mesh. All items used are recorded (with product specific codes) against the patient’s code and once the operation is over, all the recorded billing materials are checked for accuracy before being committed to PRM. The system also automatically raises an order when items require replenishing (based upon pre-set stock levels). Before PRM, re-ordering stock was a far more manual and time-consuming process.

Fred Cock, Clinical Services Manager from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, says, “Stock checks can now be done with a touch of a button. Before PRM, staff had to be gathered at a weekend to count and record all stock items. This was very labour-intensive, open to errors and couldn’t provide a real-time, holistic view of stock across the theatres.”

With greater control over stock levels and improved inventory management, waste across all 23 theatres has been reduced. To date, RD&E has saved £421,000 by bringing PRM into their mainstream savings programme.

Cock says, “The £421,000 savings RD&E has so far achieved would not have been possible without Advanced’s Patient-level Resource Management system. We have improved inventory management, thereby reducing our stock holding and cutting unnecessary waste. This provided us with an initial cost saving and the business intelligence to make further cost savings within the programme.”

The insight that PRM is delivering will enable even greater cost savings moving forward. RD&E now has the necessary intelligence around product spend and usage to enable meaningful supplier negotiations, enabling the procurement of more cost-effective products. With patient-level product detail available, this is also enabling an analysis of the products and product lines being used, how much they are costing and spend per surgeon.

Cock says, “With intelligence about our products and their associated costs at our fingertips, we can investigate why one surgeon may be using products that are more expensive than another surgeon. We have the insight to ask questions and find answers so that we can make cost-conscious decisions.”

RD&E also intends to standardise on certain cost-effective products used in surgery, such as surgical mesh used in hernia operations. There is no real difference in the application of standard surgical meshes and so the Trust plans to roll-out a standard, cost-effective type across all theatres.

Cock says, “There cannot be an unequivocal acceptance of the cost of products used by surgeons which is why intelligence is so important. By standardising on certain generic products used in surgery, this will provide a further 3 per cent cost saving on our £5.5 million theatre budget, equating to another £150K of savings.”


Notes to Editor

For further information about Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust visit

About Advanced Business Solutions
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.

Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments. These can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.
Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.

Press contacts:

Liz Ebbrell and Angela Mycock
Advanced Computer Software Group plc
T: +44(0)1625 856505
M: +44(0)7917 634 705

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