ASC supply strategies don't have to be high-tech — 3 insights

Outpatient practices can improve supply logistics by implementing a Kanban system, Intalere Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions Byron Zelin told Healthcare Purchasing News.

What you should know:

1. Kanban is an inventory management system Toyota developed in the late 1940s to improve efficiency, according to smartsheet. The system is designed to improve the flow of products while minimizing labor and inventory waste. It is based on the concept of using only what is needed and the precise amount needed, exactly when it is needed.

2. Kanban system can help free up clinicians' time for other tasks, as well as decrease transportation costs, lost time and supply processing efforts, according to Mr. Zelin.

3. According to Mr. Zelin, Minneapolis-based Minnesota Gastroenterology nurses used to spend nearly 11 hours a week taking inventory and placing orders for medications across six surgery centers, which cost an estimated $23,000 per year. With a seventh ASC in development, they worked with their supplier to develop Kanban cards, which helped reduce inventory time by 200 hours and inventory costs by $9,115 annually. The system also helped the staff keep storage areas clean and organized.

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