A surge in high-profile drug and medical device recalls in recent years has forced health care organizations to develop innovative data analysis systems to handle recalls and identify problematic devices early, Modern Healthcare reports.
Burden on Health Care Providers
Robert Pezzin -- interim vice president of supply chain at consulting firm Nexera -- said the financial burden of recalls often falls on hospitals that take a product off their shelves and return it to the manufacturer.
He said that "every organization is burdened with developing its own process and system" for removing recalled medical devices. Currently, that cost is not being funded by device manufacturers or FDA, he added.
Turning to Electronic Systems To Deal With Recalls
In a report released in June, the Government Accountability Office noted that hundreds of hospitals and other stakeholders are using electronic communications systems that provide subscription-based recall notifications. Such systems can cost thousands of dollars annually.
Kathleen Murray -- director of performance assessment and regulatory compliance at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston -- said the hospital overhauled its recall system in 2006 and established a system that uses an outside vendor to process information about product recalls.
Federal Efforts To Improve Device Tracking
Government and regulatory organizations are taking steps to establish data systems that could better manage medical device recalls.
In the next two years, FDA is expected to issue a final rule on a unique device identifier system, which could simplify the process for tracking and identifying medical devices.
Meanwhile, two national registries aim to improve the process for detecting problematic joint replacements. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has granted $12 million to the University of Massachusetts Medical School to create a national registry of joint replacement patients, and the American Joint Replacement Registry aims to collect and share information about total hip and knee replacements (Lee, Modern Healthcare, 8/8).