Improving lab utilization while reducing labor and supply costs per case


At one of America’s leading heart procedure institutes, the hospital was facing rising supply costs from new product introductions and a rising case backlog due to limited Cath Lab room availability. There were questions around the need to build additional capacity.

  • Delayed first case on-time starts and turnovers
  • Operational performance metrics were not measured vs. the goal
  • Reasons for delays were not measured or understood
  • Communication disconnect between operations and physicians
  • Physicians felt like they couldn’t get their cases on the schedule in a timely fashion
  • Variance in the cost / case among physicians
  • Patient flow was disrupted due to lack of material availability


Carpedia partnered with the hospital leaders to decrease supply costs and to increase lab utilization.

Key changes included:

  • Redesigned layout and coordination between Cardiac Observation Unit and Holding area nurses in order to increase outpatient cases
  • Created visibility to on-time start performance
  • Rolled out a phone communication app to notify physicians when the patient is ready for surgery
  • Adjusted case length scheduling parameters to reduce observed gaps between cases
  • Consolidated vendors
  • Identified bulk buying opportunities to reduce prices
  • Developed tiered pricing structures
  • Managed appropriate SKU substitution
  • Re-stocking rooms in order to reduce instance of missing supplies


At the conclusion of the engagement, a cultural shift was evident as teamwork, collaboration and mutual accountability took form. To ensure sustainability, steering committees were established to align all stakeholders, including physicians.

Results included:

  • 2.3:1 Return on Investment
  • $2.6M in annualized savings (labor & supplies)
  • 7% improvement in cost per case
  • Eliminated backlog with a sustained 11% case volume increase
  • First case on-time starts improved from 14% to 54% at one facility and from 14% to 69% at another (339% overall improvement)
  • Room turnaround time decreased by 31% for both locations

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