FALLS CHURCH – The RASMAS recall service keeps unsafe and recalled items out of hospital and healthcare supply chains.
Below are a few frequently asked questions about RASMAS, answered by Bill Klein, who is a Principal at Noblis. Klein supervises the recall collection and distribution process for RASMAS.
Q: Recall notices are already published by the government and by manufacturers and we get those by fax, email or from the Internet. Why do I need RASMAS?
A: RASMAS is not just a re-publisher of publicly available alerts. RASMAS is a web-based notification management service that provides a system for remediating and managing recalls. In addition, many recalls released by RASMAS are submitted by other RASMAS users. These recalls are typically much more timely than those published by regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration.
Q: What makes RASMAS different from other recall services?
A: RASMAS is a robust alert management and documentation system that has proven to effectively decrease your days at risk. RASMAS allows the system administrators wide latitude in deciding what alerts to receive and who will be assigned those alerts.
Q: What recalls present the most difficulty for hospitals in the implementation of RASMAS?
A: Recalls for products spread across multiple facilities and in multiple locations within those facilities are the most difficult to manage. Recalls for diagnostic products that may have produced incorrect results and recalls for implanted products are all difficult to manage.
Q: How do RASMAS users communicate?
A: In addition to phone or e-mail conversations with RASMAS analysts, members can participate in the RASMAS Community using Community Connect. Community Connect allows users to contact each other within the RASMAS system by email, or by posting comments on alerts.
Q: Is there an ideal hospital user of RASMAS?
A: There is no ideal hospital size; small and large hospitals both use the service. It can scale up or down to fit different staffing models. To see how some hospitals use RASMAS, visit our page of RASMAS Case Studies.
Q: What are some of the challenges of paper or manual tracking of recalls?
A: There are many challenges. The first challenge is that paper can get lost, and the notice must be sent from person to person. RASMAS is a web-based subscription service that assigns and tracks recalls and the workflow associated with managing that recall. If a person does not act, the system follows up. Furthermore, after an item is recalled, hospital management has an electronic trail to show who removed what item at what time.
Q: Does RASMAS track toys and equipment and other recalls? Do hospitals need to track these things?
A: Yes, we do. Many hospitals have pediatric wards, and most have waiting areas; RASMAS can provide the staff in these departments with the information on which toys have been recalled. Even well-known toys from major, established brands have been the subject of safety recalls, so no company is immune from the threat of recalled toys. Safety issues such as high lead or cadmium content can put children at risk, as can any general choke or swallow hazard.
Q: I see that many of your hospitals are large groups and university hospitals, but our regional hospital does not have a large staff. Is RASMAS useful for smaller hospitals?
A: RASMAS is used at some of the nation’s largest and smallest hospitals. Part of the usefulness of RASMAS is that as a system, it can be scaled up or down, according to the organization.
Q: I have a vendor that takes care of some product recall notices and returns. Does RASMAS work with reverse logistics companies?
A: Yes, for instance, RASMAS works with companies like EXP. EXP, based in Fremont, Calif., provides reverse distribution services for the return and destruction of expired and recalled pharmaceuticals. EXP serves hospital, government, independent retail, chain-store, clinic, veterinarian, and long-term-care pharmacies and they provide on-site returns and consulting services to nearly 70 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
Editor’s Note: Got questions about RASMAS? Leave a comment below and we will answer it. Or visit our Contact Us page where you can find out about how to talk to RASMAS staff, including sales and customer support.