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What is Recall Management & Why is it an Effective and Important Communication Strategy in Healthcare?

April 19, 2022

Product recalls are a big challenge in the healthcare industry. Each year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “receives several hundred thousand medical device reports (MDRs) of suspected device-associated deaths, serious injuries, and malfunctions.” These in many cases show a correlation to the number of recalls issued by manufacturers. These recalls need to be communicated.

Traditional communication strategies are ineffective—recall notices often don’t go to the right person and can take months to make their way to the individuals who need the information most. This can create a crisis that affects patient safety and carries significant financial burdens for healthcare providers.

Implementing more effective communication strategies in healthcare improves these key issues, resulting in better patient outcomes and supplier and provider compliance metrics. 

What Are Medical Recalls and Why Do Traditional Recall Management Strategies Fail Us?

Medical recalls occur when medical devices, supplies, and medications present a serious health risk that outweighs the product’s benefits or if the product violates federal law. Medical suppliers may voluntarily take action to remove a product from the market, or the FDA can impose a recall. The recall management process includes sending and receiving notifications and the cessation of the use of recalled products. 

After issuing a recall, medical providers can inform patients and remove products from their supply to return to the distributing supplier. Unfortunately, traditional pen-and-paper recall management strategies are ineffective, endanger public safety, and leave medical suppliers and providers with a significant financial burden.

Here are some excerpts from Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches:

“Current research indicates that ineffective communication among health care professionals is one of the leading causes of medical errors and patient harm.”


“...Communication failures were implicated at the root of over 70 percent of sentinel events.”

Outdated traditional recall notifications are sent through mail services. These include limited information in inconvenient formats, lack of uniformity between nomenclature used by suppliers, lack of uniformity between suppliers, and lack of data. It can take weeks for medical providers to receive them and patients to be notified after receiving the notification.

In that timespan, patients may receive defective implants, devices, medications, and supplies. These delays impact a patient’s overall outcome and may result in injuries, illness, and higher readmissions. Moreover, the extended timeframes can leave providers and suppliers facing non-compliance with the recall and increase their financial burdens. In some cases, life-threatening malfunctions can cost patients their lives or alter their quality of life.

Manufacturers commonly issues thousands of medical recalls each year, and that’s a real problem for traditional recall strategies. Providers and patients may receive different notifications constantly and notifications that don’t even apply to them. This can lead to “recall fatigue,” resulting in many people ignoring recall notices due to confusion or lack of clarity because of the sheer amount they receive.

These are serious problems within the medical community, and the FDA is aware of. In recent months, the FDA communicated new guidance that encourages improvements to recall preparedness to speed up these processes and reduce the risk to public health.

The Benefits of Embracing Effective Communication Strategies in Healthcare to Improve Recall Management 

Traditional pen-and-paper recall management strategies are simply not sustainable. But embracing effective communication strategies in healthcare to improve recall management replaces outdated systems and provides many benefits to suppliers, providers, and patients.

As an effective communication strategy in healthcare, a recall management platform like NotiSphere automatically updates, notifies, and establishes an open communication channel for those who need it (and only those who need it). 

This is all done in one easy-to-understand dashboard that saves time by not having to sift through recalls that don’t apply and not needing to look through lengthy purchase histories.

Let’s review the many benefits of NotiSphere’s technologically advanced recall

management platform:

Benefits for Patients

Patients benefit the most from NotiSphere recall management, as their health and safety are what’s on the line. Ranging from labeling changes to life-threatening malfunctions, recalled products can pose a great threat to anyone relying on a medical device to work as it should. The timeframe it takes for a recall notification to be sent, received, and acted upon can be critical.

Why NotiSphere Is the Right Solution for Healthcare Administrators

NotiSphere is a connector. We are the prime recall management solution connecting healthcare product manufacturers with those providers who must be notified of any issues. 

With NotiSphere, every recall notification is streamlined and easy to use, connecting suppliers and providers and improving the safety of patients. As a result, communication is fast and accurate and gets straight to where it needs to go.

Contact NotiSphere to better track the safety recall notifications of your supplies and equipment.

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