Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
Lean Supply Chain Transformation
Simplifying and improving supply chain processes often leads to dramatic cost savings and recuperated working hours to clinicians for higher-value activities. Based in Florida, Martin Health System, a nationally recognized community healthcare organization, is an excellent example of a healthcare provider that realized significant cost savings by moving to a lean supply chain process.
Before implementation, technicians from multiple departments, including pharmacy, respiratory, wound care, and anesthesia, popped in and out to restock supplies. Aside from the distraction to doctors, patients, and caregiving staff, there was a high labor cost. Each department spent numerous hours ordering and restocking supplies every day rather than focusing on higher-value clinical activities.
The system was simple to execute: supply areas were stocked with BlueBin’s two-bin Kanban system, one fore, and one aft, both holding specified levels of the same supply. When workers emptied the front bin, caregivers placed that bin on the top shelf of the storage unit and pulled the second bin to the front. An empty bin in the designated holding area triggered replenishment. Before depleting the second bin, the contents of the first bin were reordered, restocked, and replaced in the supply area by the materials technician. The companion BlueQ Analytics & SmartScan dashboard enabled managers to monitor hospital activity based on inventory use and anticipate inventory challenges before they become complications.
As a result of the change, Martin Medical Center reduced interruptions in the ICUs and perioperative departments, giving time for clinical work back to the various caregivers and technicians. Given the success at Martin Medical Center, the team decided to implement the same solution at Tradition from the ground up.
While preparing the new hospital for opening day, the operations team put the final touches on the new supply chain system. The hospital-wide program was built in a nearby warehouse, installed in the weeks before the ribbon-cutting, and went live on opening day.
Over 14,000 clinical hours and 7,000 support service hours per year were saved…
Tradition Medical Center was built to employ a “porch” concept, a new nursing station model that aims to place 60% of the supplies needed for patient care directly outside the patient rooms and within an arm’s reach of busy nurses. At Tradition, these supply caches are called Nurse Servers and are part of the supply chain solution. With the new implementation, Tradition Medical Center became one of only a handful of sites in the U.S. servicing all supplies, in all areas, all the way to the bedside.
Over 14,000 clinical hours and 7,000 support service hours per year were saved due to the lean supply chain implementation, giving Martin Health back the equivalent of 10 full-time employees from the original staff plan for Tradition.
What’s in it for the Patient?
For patients in southeastern Florida, the solution means higher quality and more attentive care. It also means more time dedicated to caring for patients and more clinical activities for technicians and nursing staff, what they do best.
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