Following a merger of two children's hospitals, leadership discovered a considerable utilization volume of single-use sensors that was associated with declining hospital reimbursements. This discovery resulted in the establishment of a new sensor management strategy, the goal of which was to decrease costs and waste associated with disposable pulse oximetry sensors.
The sensor management strategy involved using replacement tapes with single-patient-use pulse oximeter sensors instead of the current practice of reprobing with a new sensor. A 60% utilization goal was set, with the focus shifted from sensors used per patient to replacement tapes per sensor.
The implementation of a new sensor management strategy between the years 2006 and 2019 in a hospital system decreased sensor volume by more than 780,000 sensors and realized a cost avoidance of more than 7 million dollars.
A sensor management strategy can substantially reduce the cost and medical waste commonly associated with the use of disposable, single-patient pulse oximetry sensors.