+ Importance of resource management
- The resources employed in the nuclear medicine department (human, equipment, radiopharmaceuticals and other supplies) are costly and should be efficiently managed to avoid waste.
- Waste caused by inefficient use of resources may impact the quality of patient care provided by the department through:
- Schedule overruns and delays
- Higher operating costs
- Efficient scheduling in the nuclear medicine department takes into account the availability of staff, equipment, radiopharmaceuticals and other supplies.1
- Block bookings are used to group patients undergoing a common study, or using the same equipment
- Less common studies are performed in a block booking (specific day(s) of the week)
- Studies are arranged to minimize collimator changes
- Patients undergoing multiple procedures have their bookings coordinated to ensure optimal results and minimize delays.
- Booking slots are flexible to accommodate for variations in the time required for procedures, and arranged to minimize the loss of scanning time due to gaps between appointments.
- Nuclear medicine departments make the most efficient use of their radiopharmaceutical resources.
- Kits are made up to expected requirements, as opposed to standard activity.
- MRTs are aware of the requirements for specific radiopharmaceuticals:
- Radiopharmaceuticals that cannot be made with first elution
- Radiopharmaceuticals that need fresh elution
- Generator growth curve
- Kit requirements (min/max, patient demands/load)
- Kit expiration post-reconstitution
- Eluate expiration
- Radiopharmaceutical procurement and management is important for efficiency:
- Bulk doses (rather than unit doses) are ordered for common studies
- Unit doses are ordered for infrequently required radiopharmaceuticals
- Appropriate size generator is ordered (less expensive)
- Radiopharmaceuticals are stored as per manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid degradation
+ General supplies
- Nuclear medicine departments stock the appropriate amount of supplies based on their requirements.
- Requirements are anticipated based on recent supply use
- Departments should refrain from stockpiling supplies.
- Stockpiling can lead to excess requirement for storage space, the risk of items expiring and of accumulating unused items which would incur costs1
- Techniques might change making the stockpiled supplies obsolete
- Older supplies are used first to avoid loss due to expiry dates
- Prior to a procedure, supplies are readied but left in their packaging (e.g., syringes, needles, etc) until they are required for use.
- European Association of Nuclear Medicine. Best Practice in Nuclear Medicine. Part 1: A Technologist's Guide. Available at: http://www.eanm.org/publications/tech_guidelines/docs/tech_best_practice.pdf?PHPSESSID=601h60751ilj6nki1m40bbgs75. Accessed March 20, 2013.