Simplify ASC Supply Chain: 4 Tips From Administrator Dominic Vendetta

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Ambulatory surgery center supply chain operations are complex and sometimes overwhelming. Dominic Vendetta, RN, BSN, administrator of Vincera Surgery Center in Philadelphia, shares four tips for improved, simpler supply chain efficiency.

1. Utilize an inventory management system. Vincera Surgery Center opened less than three months ago and has already completed 150 cases. In any spare time, the center's staff is working to load all inventory information into a management system. Nearly half of ASCs, 48 percent, use inventory management software, and an additional 19 percent intend to implement an order management system within 12 months according to Provista's Report of ASC Survey Findings 2011. Though a painstaking process to complete, supply organization will become a much easier task.

2. Select a team leader. Efficient, successful supply chain operations are a team effort in an ASC, but a leader is required to ensure the team works together smoothly. Vincera Surgery Center's director of nursing Jill Jarboe, RN, naturally filled the position. The leader, whether a DON or materials manager, can identify each staff member's strengths and play to them.

For example, Ms. Jarboe identified a staff member that excelled at inventory and par level maintenance. "You really have to delegate tasks to each staff member and when you do that there is no room for gaps in your ordering and supply chain operations," says Mr. Vendetta.

3. Allow room for options. Large distributors offer surgery centers significant benefits, but may include a long ordering process. Changing distributors is not always the answer, though 6 percent of ASCs intend to within a year, according to Provista's report. Vincera Surgery Center utilizes two distributors, one large while the other smaller.

"The smaller distributor offers quicker turnaround. As a start up center, this is very important," says Mr. Vendetta. Working with a small number of distributors allows ASC leaders to fill their supply needs without haphazardly ordering from too many sources.

4. Keep up with contract pricing. Keep a close eye on contract pricing, whether with a group purchasing organization or directly though a distributor. "Go back and look at your invoicing. Work with distributors to get the credits your center deserves," says Mr. Vendetta.

More Articles on Supply Chain:
8 Questions to Ask for Materials Management Success
12 Statistics on Surgery Center Supply Chain Strategy & Physician Engagement
9 Ophthalmology Devices Receive FDA 510(k) Clearance in November & December

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