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Medical Device Sales Logistics: Planning for the Unexpected in Multi-Level Interbody Spine Cases

Updated: Jan 11

Medical Device Sales Tips & Tricks


December 19, 2023

MDSI: Article 001


In the fast-paced world of healthcare, effective logistics management by a medical device sales representative is a critical success factor in complex spine surgeries, such as multi-level interbody spine cases. An important part of a medical device sales job is preparing equipment and implants for a surgical case, ensuring every aspect of the logistics process is strategically planned and executed flawlessly. In this article, we dive into the intricacies of mastering logistics processes as a medical device sales representative in multi-level interbody spine cases, particularly when it comes to planning.

Medical Device Sales Implant and Instrumentation for Interbody Spine Surgery Case
Implant and Instruments for Interbody Spine Case















MEDICAL DEVICE SALES LOGISTICS CHALLENGES & COMPLEXITIES IN MULTI-LEVEL INTERBODY SPINE CASES


Medical device sales logistics planning for plays an integral part in Multi-level interbody spine cases; highly intricate procedures that involve the fusion of multiple vertebrae to stabilize the spine. These cases pose unique challenges and complexities due to the nature of the surgery and the specific needs of each patient. Surgeons must carefully consider factors such as the patient's medical history, the severity of the spine condition, and the type of implants and instrumentation required.


The length and complexity of the procedure, coupled with the need for precise alignment and placement of implants, can lead to unforeseen complications during surgery. Additionally, the availability of specialized equipment and implants to assist with restoring alignment can sometimes be limited, requiring careful planning on the part of the medical device sales representative to ensure everything is in place when needed.


IMPORTANCE OF LOGISTICS PLANNING IN MULTI-LEVEL INTERBODY SPINE CASES


Given the challenges and complexities involved, medical device sales logistics planning plays a critical role in the success of multi-level interbody spine cases. A comprehensive logistics plan prepared by medical device sales representative helps healthcare providers anticipate and mitigate potential risks, ensuring the smooth execution of the procedure and the safety of the patient. Effective logistics planning involves several key factors that need to be taken into consideration. These factors include inventory management, transportation logistics, company ordering procedures and timelines, sterile processing coordination, intra-operative efficiency and contingency planning for unexpected events. By addressing each of these areas, medical device sales representatives help healthcare providers optimize their logistics processes and improve overall efficiency.


KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN MEDICAL DEVICE SALES LOGISTICS PLANNING


Pre-operative logistics preparation is a crucial phase in multi-level interbody spine cases. Medical device sales logistics planning requires representatives to make available all the requisite instrumentation, equipment, and implants for a case and in the right quantities. Securing the appropriate purchase order and following the hospital’s materials management policies is key. Additionally, effective communication between the medical device representative, surgical team, and the logistics team is essential during this phase.


Timely and accurate information regarding the patient's medical history, surgical plan, and any specific requirements can help streamline the logistics process and ensure that all necessary resources are readily available. Specifically in the multi-level interbody case, the surgeon might want the option to perform a corpectomy rather than a multi-level discectomy, so, it’s critical that the sales representative have that discussion in advance and that they have both interbody and corpectomy sets available. It’s not uncommon for companies to only put 1 or 2 implants with the same height and lordotic angles in a set. In multi-level procedures, the sales representative must have extra implants available for situations where each level requires the same implant size. If those implants are sterile, the sales representative needs to verify the package expiration dates.


Finally, the sales representative must provide appropriate lead time to get any non-sterile implants/instruments cleaned and sterilized.


INTRA-OPERATIVE LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT


During the procedure itself, logistics management is also critical. The surgical team must have immediate access to all required supplies and equipment, ensuring that there are no delays or disruptions. Having an efficient plan for back table management that mirrors the steps of the case will allow for optimal case flow.


Intra-operative logistics also involves real-time communication and adaptability to unforeseen circumstances. Having a contingency plan (back-up) with the requisite equipment and implants is essential and should reflect surgeon preferences. A well-prepared logistics plan allows for prompt responses to these situations, minimizing any negative impact on the procedure.


POST-OPERATIVE LOGISTICS CONSIDERATIONS


Once the surgery is complete, post-operative logistics considerations come into play. This includes proper handling, re-processing, and shipping (or storage) of utilized sets. The medical device sales representative must also meticulously record the implants and disposables utilized for proper billing and replacement.


TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES FOR EFFECTIVE LOGISTICS


The advancements in technology have revolutionized logistics management in healthcare settings. Several tools and technologies are now available to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of logistics planning in multi-level interbody spine cases.


Inventory management software, for example, allows healthcare providers to track and manage their supplies in real-time. This eliminates the need for manual inventory checks and reduces the risk of shortages or overstocking. In addition, automated communication systems enable seamless coordination between the surgical team, logistics team, and operating room staff, ensuring timely access to necessary resources. Furthermore, the use of data analytics and predictive modeling can help healthcare providers anticipate and mitigate potential risks. If the hospital is willing to provide consolidated patient de-identified historical data, medical device sales representatives can analyze this data to understand patterns, make informed decisions, optimize their processes, and improve overall efficiency.


CONCLUSION


Planning and logistics are integral to the success of all spine cases. Multi-level interbody spine cases provide some unique challenges due to set configurations and surgical options. By effectively planning for the unexpected, medical device sales reps help minimize risks, streamline processes, enhance overall efficiency, and have a positive impact on patient outcomes.


From pre-operative logistics preparation to intra-operative management and post-operative considerations, every aspect of the logistics process must be carefully considered and executed.

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