A lean approach to perioperative supply management

At the 21st Annual Becker's ASC Conference in Chicago on Oct. 24, Ned Turner, senior vice president of Perioperative Consulting Services at Medline Industries in Mundelein, Ill., discussed how the lean approach can be applied to perioperative supply management at ASCs.

According to Mr. Turner, the goal of the lean approach in regards to ASCs is to provide perfect value to surgeons and patients alike through the continuous elimination of waste. When the lean approach is applied to supply management, ASCs can more easily provide better and faster care for less money.

"If you want to know if your ASC has an efficient process, you have to actually watch the process again and again,” said Mr. Turner. "Really taking the time to do so is the best way to uncover how to become more efficient.”

As far as supply management goes, there are seven areas in which waste can be reduced including:

• Transportation
• Inventory
• Motion
• Waiting
• Over-processing
• Over-production
• Defects

By closely studying the daily processes of your ASC, such as how instruments are transported to the surgery rooms, you can unveil where inefficiencies are occurring and how they can be remedied. Additionally, for many ASCs, inventory rationalization is one of the most common challenges regarding perioperative supply management.

"As an administration, you need to have the right amount of the right supplies," said Mr. Turner.

Additional areas that present challenges include space, procedural throughout, staff productivity/talent utilization, surgeon satisfaction and supply acquisition cost.

Implementing the lean approach at your ASC requires time and work to figure out the kinks but simplifying your perioperative supply management processes can increase time for patient care while reducing overall costs.



More articles on ASC supply chain and materials management:
Need a new supply management strategy? 5 key steps
Looking to Lean: Innovative ideas in ASC supply chain management
5 orthopedic-driven ASC supply chain management trends

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