Lanessia Lane, Cardiac Catheterization Lab Inventory Specialist

In a cardiac catheterization laboratory that performs more than 2,000 procedures every year, keeping each lab stocked with the appropriate supplies is critical to patient care and safety. Lanessia Lane plays a crucial role in this endeavor, ensuring uninterrupted care.

How did you become involved the medical field?

I got my start in the military in 1992, working with supplies for a medical hospital at Fort Devens and then at Summer Street in South Boston. I gained a lot of experience there. After the military, I managed the supplies at a few Boston hospitals before joining the cardiac catheterization lab at Boston Children’s Hospital 11 years ago.

What is a typical day like for you?

A big part of my job is managing PAR EX, our inventory management system. I register all items into the system, and during each procedure the techs scan the item before opening and giving it to the physician. This scan captures the lot number and the time and date of use, so the item can be replenished, and also goes into the patient’s medical record. Sometimes I get requests from other hospitals for lot numbers from equipment that was used on a particular patient. Our data is pretty tight, so we’re usually able to provide that information quickly and accurately.

I also manage backorders, which we come across all the time. It’s my job to make sure that the cath lab continues to flow uninterrupted and that the doctors have what they need, so there’s never a delay in patient care. If a particular item has been discontinued, I work with the doctors to make sure we get something in that’s comparable that they like.

I also sit on a committee called NET (New and Emerging Technology) with doctors and nurses from across the hospital. Our committee reviews all requests for new equipment, performs a cost analysis and then sends the requests through Materials Management, who negotiate with vendors and make a final decision on purchasing.

Lane with Jose Rivera, cath lab supervisor

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

There are a lot of moving pieces. We have five procedure labs and each has its own specialized inventory. I need to be able to prioritize and know what I can put on hold and what I have to take care of right away. When you don’t have appropriate supplies, it causes stress levels to go up, and if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you could order a whole tray of something that’s not sterile or something that’s just a bit off. It’s my job to be able to see that detail and think critically at that level.

What do you like most about your job?

Every day is different, which I really love. I’m passionate about what I do and feel like I’m doing something that’s meaningful. It’s satisfying to know I’ve done my job well.

I also take a on a COACH (Community Opportunities Advancement at Children’s Hospital) intern every summer — a program that offers Boston Public High School students a chance to explore health care careers. I show the intern my job and talk with them about what they want to do. I like helping the students find things that interest them and opening their eyes to all of the many options available within the hospital. It’s really rewarding.

What’s your proudest moment?

Recently, I was looking at a backorder and realized an item we were waiting for, a 60cc syringe, wasn’t listed. I kept looking at the backorder report and saw it wasn’t coming in. We use them a lot, so I knew it would be a problem if we ran out. I wasn’t getting satisfying answers about where the item was, so I decided to escalate my concern to the daily meeting for directors at the hospital. It turned out that the whole facility was low, but I was the only one who raised my hand and spoke up.

In the meantime, I researched a new item to make sure it was compatible, then called the vendor to see if they had in stock and had my buyer place an order for the next day. After that incident, the hospital changed the whole process for handling backorders. I feel good about doing that, but I don’t need to be recognized for it. That’s my job.