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Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research
Sous presse. Epreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le lundi 11 mars 2019
Doi : 10.1016/j.otsr.2019.01.012
Received : 20 July 2018 ;  accepted : 25 January 2019
Can the number of surgery delays and postponements due to unavailable instrumentation be reduced? Evaluating the benefits of enhanced collaboration between the sterilization and orthopedic surgery units

E. Huynh a, S. Klouche b, , C. Martinet b, F. Le Mercier a, T. Bauer b, A. Lecoeur a
a Stérilisation centrale, hôpital Ambroise-Paré, hôpitaux universitaires Paris Île-de-France Ouest, AP–HP, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France 
b Orthopaedic surgery, hôpitaux universitaires Paris Île-de-France Ouest, AP–HP, 9, avenue Charles-de-Gaulle, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France 

Corresponding author.

The development of outpatient surgery, cost-reduction pressures and instrumentation storage limitations have led to their use “just-in-time”. A recent study showed that stoppage of surgical procedures immediately before the incision (No-Go) was often due to the management of supplies and implantable medical devices. To our knowledge, since the development of outpatient surgery and the shortening of hospital stays, managing the flow of instrumentation has not been optimized. At our hospital, we used a two-prong approach consisting of a tool to manage instrumentation and working group from the sterilization and orthopedic surgery units. The aims of this study were to: 1) evaluate whether this approach led to better notification of the risk of supply shortage for instrumentation and 2) determine whether it could reduce by at least half operating room disruptions such as delays or cancellation of surgical procedures.


This approach results in better notification of the risk of supply shortage for instrumentation and reduces by at least half operating room disruptions such as delays or cancellation of surgical procedures.

Material and methods

A tool was developed to manage instrumentation flow based on a retrospective analysis of data from 2015. This tool consisted of: (1) a list of instrumentation needed for each surgical procedure from an analysis of the surgical schedule and verification of traceability labels of the instrumentation actually used, (2) a list of reasons for supply shortage identified from an analysis of non-conformities occurring in the sterilization process of instrumentation kits. These analyses resulted in the development of checklists for instrument sets for each procedure, while identifying those with a high risk of shortage. In 2017, a working group focused on instrumentation was set up with personnel from the sterilization unit and the orthopedic surgery unit. Based on the check-lists and the schedule 24hours before the surgery, the sterilization unit alerted the surgery unit by email of the risk of material shortage; the surgery ward replied with potential changes to the material or the surgery planning. This approach (instrumentation management tool and working group) was named just-in-time (JIT). The main outcome was the number of notifications of potential supply shortage with and without JIT over a 10-week period. The secondary outcomes were the number of notifications resolved in time and the occurrence of operating room disruptions (delay>30min or postponement of surgery) related to unavailable instrumentation.


Nine reasons for potential supply shortage were identified such as instrumentation kits used for several types of procedures, those with fast rotation and low stock, or in double pathways (on loan and on deposit). The working group reported 163 potential shortages with JIT versus 41 without (p <10−5), of which 150 (92.5%) were resolved. Thirteen operating room disruptions occurred; only one was not detected by the JIT approach.


Our JIT approach (instrumentation management tool and working group) is effective at preventing instrumentation supply shortages.

Level of evidence

III, prospective comparative study.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Instrumentation, Postponements of surgery, Sterilization, Securing

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