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{Past Event} - Healthier Hospitals Initiative: Smarter Purchasing through Custom OR Kit Reformulation

October 16, 2012 - 2:00 pm - October 16, 2012 - 3:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


Health care has significant purchasing power, representing 17 percent of the marketplace. The surgical department represents a considerable portion of hospital purchases, with estimates suggesting the OR is responsible for approximately 33 percent of all hospital supply costs. Within the OR, supply costs can comprise more than 50% of the departmental budget.

One of the components adding to supply costs are OR kits and custom packs necessary for surgical procedures - the OR uses variety of different kits and custom packs compiled for specific surgery types, however, it is not uncommon for items in the kit to go unused and end up in the trash. These unused items in surgical and anesthesia kits factor in to the high supply costs for the OR. Under FDA guidelines, these unused items are deemed “unsterile” and cannot be used on another patient. This concept, defined as “overage” can drive significant wastage of devices and materials, not to mention overall supply costs.

Webinar participants will learn how Iowa Health System, concerned with these wasteful practices, set up a process to review the contents of surgical kits to ensure the appropriate equipment, number of devices, and materials are included. By reviewing OR kits, this program can save hospitals critical dollars by preventing the purchase of new items while reducing waste, maintaining quality of care, and meeting surgeon and clinical staff needs.

This webinar will also review how facilities can implement this strategy, capture data, and submit it for the Healthier Hospital Initiative Smarter Purchasing Challenge.


  • Understand the power of purchasing in the healthcare sector and review the importance of environmentally preferable purchasing as a means to reduce waste and realize financial savings
  • Identify key project stakeholders and outline successful strategies needed to develop an OR kit reformulation project.
  • Describe the mechanisms by which organizations can quantify the waste reduction and avoided supply cost benefits.
  • Highlight best practices for engaging surgeons and gaining buy-in, as well as educating other clinical staff.
  • Learn how to submit data for the HHI Smarter Purchasing Challenge


Laura Ippen, Sustainability Coordinator, Iowa Health System
Laura Ippen began with Iowa Health System (IHS) as a sustainability intern in June 2010 and became a full time Sustainability Coordinator at the end of 2011. She devotes half of her time to IHS and half of her time to Iowa Health – Des Moines, an affiliate group of IHS. Much of her focus is on identifying and implementing efficiency opportunities that both benefit the environment and reduce costs.

Connie Boss, R.N., C.N.O.R., B.S.Director of Surgical Services, Contracting, Iowa Health System
Connie joined the Iowa Health System Contracting Team in 2007 as the Director of Surgical Services Contracting and Custom Pack Operation.  Connie has over 28 years of surgery experience that includes direct patient care, new employee orientation, management of a 17 suite operating room department, and management of operating and capital budgets.  In her current position, Connie is responsible for surgical supply contracts, surgical custom pack operation located within a distribution center, and a founding member of the Green Environmental Action Team. 

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