An East Coast Regional Hospital System Transforms Their Sutures Program

PANDAC takes the stress out of suture supply management.

September 2, 2021

Read the full case study to learn more.

Quick Facts

  • Product: PANDAC

  • Customer: Regional Hospital System

  • Location: East Coast

  • Facilities: Two hospitals, one ASC

  • Total Beds: 500+

  • First Year Savings: $350K+

The Challenge

A Reactive Approach to Sutures and Endo-Mechanical

A well-known regional hospital system had historically managed their sutures and endomechanical products like many other hospitals, relying on visual clues and gut instinct to make decisions on when to order product and how much of it to order. The burden of managing sutures fell to one full-time employee to manage over 4,500 SKUs for the OR and Anesthesia departments—a considerable task for a single employee.

This person had limited time to spend managing specific items. Instead, their time was devoted to making sure the bins were full, the orders for new product were submitted every day and the new items were put away once they came in. Visual cues, such as eyeballing a bin, were used to make inventory decisions. And the guiding philosophy became the more stock, the less likely a stock out would occur. “It was like a wild West show,” said one supply chain leader. “You wanted to keep the bins full because you didn’t want to run out of product,” he continued.

Compounding the problem was an issue common at many hospitals, the supply chain and the activities around it were a behind-the-scenes player and not the focus on management. On the outside, nothing was visibly wrong with how the health system was handling sutures and endo. They were there for surgeries. Inventory levels were maintained and product ordered when needed. However, it was a very reactive approach. The hospital system knew there was a better way, a way that would leverage data to manage the program and drive out inefficiencies. But the internal resources, either in staffing or analytics weren’t there to address it. Fortunately for this health system, they were already working with a partner who had those resources, Owens & Minor.

The Solution


The health system has been a distribution customer with Owens & Minor. It was only
natural then that the health system would turn to Owens & Minor and their PANDAC program for help with sutures and endo-mechanical. PANDAC is an innovative service from Owens & Minor that manages sutures and endomechanical at primary stocking locations with hospitals and ambulatory care centers. Using a dedicated, on-site resource, PANDAC monitors purchases and utilization, adjusts stocking
levels, identifies inactive and expired items and provides comprehensive reporting on all aspects of the program. What results is less waste, reduced PAR levels and a guaranteed minimum savings of 5%, with actual savings often much more.

“With PANDAC, we don’t have to worry about sutures...I can continue focusing on achieving the best possible patient outcomes.”
- Regional Hospital System Supply Chain Leader
We rely on Owens & Minor’s Artis Miller, our on-site specialist who runs the PANDAC program, to make recommendations on how best to manage sutures and endo...He’s been accepted as part of the team.”
- Regional Hospital System Supply Chain Leader


The health system started implementing PANDAC first in the 14 operating rooms at its flagship hospital. Once that foundation was built, they expanded the program to the two LDR rooms, then 10 more ORs split between two other facilities.

The Results

Immediate Savings in Sutures and Endo-Mechanical

PANDAC had an immediate impact at the health system. In the first quarter of use, the health system realized cost savings of $175,000 followed by savings of $135,00 and $45,000 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters respectively. This followed the pattern at most hospitals who have implemented PANDAC with big cost savings up front followed by smaller savings over time. “We are going to see it go down if we are doing our job correctly. This is the natural tendency of PANDAC, that you get your inventory right sized to where it should be,” said one of the hospital’s supply chain leaders.

The costs savings were the most visible benefit of PANDAC. But, an equally important benefit to the health system was the fact that they had a trusted partner in Owens & Minor who could run their suture program.

A key part of that partnership is Owens & Minor’s Artis Mills, their on-site specialist at the health system who runs the PANDAC program. “To me, my role is not simply managing sutures,” Mills said. “My role is really to use my knowledge to identify areas the health system can improve upon so that they maximize the value they are getting from the PANDAC program,” continued Mills. In turn, the health system has come to depend on Mills. “We rely on Artis to make recommendations on how best to manage sutures and endo. But more importantly than that, Artis is like part of our family. He’s been accepted as part of the team,” said one supply chain leader.

One way the Owens & Minor and the health system partnership manifested itself has been in the quarterly business reviews. Once a quarter, Mills sits down with the team from the health system to review the prior quarter’s results and make recommendations for continued efficiency improvements. In summing up the benefits of the program, one health system supply chain leader said: “With PANDAC, we don’t have to worry about sutures. As long as our Owens & Minor representative continues their great work and we maintain communication, I don’t have to worry about our suture program—I can continue focusing on achieving the best possible patient outcomes.”

At Owens & Minor, we understand that being a great partner means you never stop thinking of ways to improve your customer’s business. We continue to look for opportunities to empower this health system to get the quality products and services it needs, to reduce costs, and to deliver better patient care. Let us do the same for your hospital.

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