6 Ways to Save Money on Supplies in a Surgery Center

March 25, 2011 | Print  |

Mike Lipomi, president and CEO of Surgical Management Professionals in Sioux Falls, S.D., shares six ways to save money on supplies in an ambulatory surgery center.


1. Develop an inventory control system. Develop a simple but effective inventory control system. "Excessive inventory is a real cost to the facility that can be reduced significantly with a simple system," Mr. Lipomi says. For example, make case carts easy to use and accessible.


2. Set inventory levels for all supplies. Set minimum, par and maximum levels of inventory for all supplies. Use the ordering process to get supplies in line with the par level. "In this way, you will ensure having necessary inventory on hand when needed," Mr. Lipomi says.

3. Stack supplies by date. In the supply area, put older inventory at the front of shelves so that it will be used sooner and move new supplies to the back. "This simple step will help you keep supplies from becoming outdated," Mr. Lipomi says.

4. Review inventory regularly. Review and adjust inventory on a quarterly basis. "Taking inventory is timely and costly but it simplifies the inventory process later on," Mr. Lipomi says.

5. Review contents of custom packs. Review the contents of custom packs on a regular basis, such as every six months. Surgical staff should delete unused items and add items that are new to preference cards. "You are wasting money when you have to pay for supplies you do not use," Mr. Lipomi says.

6. Get implant costs in line. Mr. Lipomi recommends running a comparative cost analysis of implants for each surgeon and sharing blinded results in a meeting with all surgeons. "Then they can discuss what is clinically appropriate," he says. Another strategy is to ask the surgeons to negotiate directly with the implant vendors. The surgeons have more clout than administrators. "A lot of implants, as well as supplies, instruments and electronics, are very similar and their utilization is more dependent on preference rather than availability or performance," he says.


Learn more about Surgical Management Professionals.


Read more from SMP:


- 4 Ways to Save Staff Time in a Surgery Center


- 6 Best Practices for a Successful Surgery Center Infection Control Program


- 8 Areas to Reinvest in an ASC

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