The Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy System (NPS) team is responsible for manufacturing a variety of drugs used for cancer detection and treatment. The process is particularly complex due to the requirements of both FDA regulations on medicine and other regulations on nuclear manufacturing. One of the most difficult problems is that the expiration date of the medicine they manufacture is measured in hours, not months, like a typical medicine. This means that when issues arise with a batch the entire NPS team needs to move quickly to identify, troubleshoot and fix problems or else an entire day’s worth of production will fail.
Cardinal Health has nuclear manufacturing facilities all across the country, specialized engineers managing large regions, and a dedicated training and support team at the corporate headquarters. When a remote manufacturing team has an issue the knowledge of the entire team needs to become instantly available to the technicians in the field. When Switchbox was brought in the critical knowledge was stored in the minds of a few nuclear engineers, 32 SharePoint portals and one FDA approved document management system (Veeva Vault). Field technicians had no way to quickly access and search this information so specialized engineers where often flown out to the remote location to troubleshoot the issue. The time lost waiting for an experienced engineer was critical to the process. In many instances the problem could have been fixed by the local technician if they had access to appropriate training and reference materials.
Switchbox worked with the NPS team to document the current process, find typical failure points, and conduct focus groups to confirm the final solution would provide a high ROI. The training team at Cardinal Health worked tirelessly to interview various team members, create new training content and work within the bounds of the IT department to ensure the application would not only provide solutions in emergencies but also to improve the onboarding and training process to proactively prevent issues. The final solution was a mobile application that allowed all NPS staff to immediately access the information from any device. The application provided one single point of reference to all team members.
The final application “Codename Albert” was completed ahead of schedule and under budget and ultimately won the Cardinal Health Innovation of the Year award for the NPS team. The application has been running without any issues since its initial launch in 2015. The initial launch and acceptance testing was so popular the application underwent a custom branding initiative and was named “Albert” out of respect for the lead nuclear engineer who has been an icon to the NPS team for many years.
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