Pittsburgh’s Prodigo Solutions and the ECRI Institute have announced a content partnership that will change the recall management game for health systems. In real time, the resulting integrated solution will alert buyers, including clinicians, to products posing patient safety risks prior to purchase and/or at the Point of Sale or Point of Service (POS) –which is where it needs to happen.

ECRI’s product recall database is the standard bearer in healthcare. And Prodigo is integrating it in a fashion that will keep its Marketplace users and related systems informed and updated. That includes any/all requisitioners, inventory managers, department heads, nursing staff and physicians. More than making sure that material changes to product status are appropriately broadcasted or that internal recall change management scripts can be developed, the Prodigo system makes sure that required user and system calls are executed efficiently and effectively.

“Never before have buyers and users had immediate and comprehensive alerts about all product risks that ECRI Institute monitors, including ECRI’s objective opinion about what impact the recall or alert may have before they purchase the products,” said Michael DeLuca, Executive Vice President of Technology & Client Services for Prodigo Solutions.

Madhusudhan Pillai, Director of Systems & Measurement for Temple Health, has previewed Prodigo’s technology and offers his perspective on its impact: “While checks and balances in various forms exist for major, involuntary recalls, there are no such safeguards in place for lesser-risk recalls or alerts. Today, our clinical departments can order products for patient care without knowledge of potential patient safety implications due to a lack of flags or alerts at the point of procurement. That’s a problem, and Prodigo’s technology has the potential to fix it. I haven’t seen any other supply chain technology offering this type of valuable information to materials managers in clinical departments at the point of requisition. It additionally enables the supply chain services department to restrict its purchase.” DeLuca added, “Prodigo’s technology helps minimize health system risk stemming from recalled products that pose potential patient safety hazards. By incorporating recall information into the requisition workflow, clinicians can make informed product selection decisions quickly and speed up the time it takes to identify a functionally equivalent alternative for care.”

The new product alert feature will be immediately available to ProdigoMarketplace customers that already have access to the ECRI Institute’s Health Devices Alerts database.

While it’s taken some time to fully appreciate the benefits, healthcare providers are recognizing the value of controlling the Point of Sale (POS). While initially billed in healthcare as “internal shopping sites,” then “compliance engines,” these POS systems are now being appreciated for what else they can do –if not what they have meant for other industries. As POS systems have led the data-driven charge, supply chain and financial managers in healthcare are beginning to see the same potential.

The point is, massive user communities regularly interact with these systems. Using them quickly becomes an embedded part of their daily workflows, pretty much from the moment they’re implemented, as they require little to no training. In addition to everything else, and as evidenced by news of the Prodigo/ECRI collaboration, these systems are context- and content-specific communications platforms.

As the Prodigo system already integrates content management, workflow messaging configuration capabilities, its ECRI partnership is but one of many content partnerships I expect to see announced in the future.

Congrats to Prodigo and ECRI. It’s a smart partnership that will quickly deliver meaningful value to the industry.

—Tom Finn