Emory University Hospital Midtown's (EUHM) Operation Room (OR) department has 18 specialties and performs 16,000 procedures annually. The department consists of healthcare providers, including nurses and physicians, and the Materials Management team. The Materials Management team is responsible for storing OR supply shipments in Central Storage. From there, the Materials Management team moves products to the Core Supply Rooms when healthcare providers are running low on supplies. Providers replenish OR Carts from the Core Supply Rooms.
Nurses and physicians leave procedures due to the inaccessibility of supplies in the OR Supply Rooms and OR Carts, leading to provider dissatisfaction. Products are often not available to providers when they need them. However, currently EUHM orders products in excess. The goal of this project is to provide an efficient supply management system that is accessible and cost-effective, allowing providers to retrieve appropriate supplies during procedures.
We implemented a data-driven inventory and replenishment policy to address these challenges. Our methodology includes (1) Creating a periodic review inventory policy for Central Storage that outputs a reorder point and order up to quantity for products, (2) Designing a Two-Bin Kanban system in the Core Supply Rooms, (3) Updating par levels in the OR Carts and creating an optimization model that uses dimensions and usage data to find the best fit for products in the cart. We simulated the integrated inventory system to test how the new inventory policy and Kanban system work together in regards to stockout in Central Storage.
The demand tool we created allows EUHM to enter product information such as item number, current inventory, and daily demand as inputs. The tool outputs the recommended items and quantities that need to be ordered for that day. We delivered replenishment manuals and Kanban cards to implement a Kanban system to refill supplies in the Core Supply Rooms and OR Carts. Updated bin sizes ensure minimal stockouts and trips to refill supplies. Lastly, EUHM can use the optimization model to generate possible layouts of OR Carts for each OR room while taking important factors into account.
Value and Impact
This project brings value through cost savings and high in-stock probability from the periodic review inventory policy in Central Storage. Our proposed inventory policy’s performance over the previous 16 months for each SKU shows a yearly savings of $352,949 and a stock-out probability of 1.39%. By standardizing replenishment methods across the three subsystems, the product flow and reliability in the system is improved. This provides EUHM with the opportunity to guarantee product availability throughout the system. Thus, healthcare providers from the OR department will benefit from improved work experience.