Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The RT Hoarder

I admit I have turned into a hoarder, not the typical hoarder seen on television living amongst their bodily waste or sharing their house with 50 cats. My story is not as disturbing and goes unnoticed.

I hoard respiratory therapy supplies; heated wires for that F&P 850 heater, O2 & air quick connects, that 3 stage flow meter used for multiple connections, a regular flow meter, and that hard to find 22 mm adapter used to connect a NIV mask to a standard ventilator circuit, oh yeah sometimes a whole ventilator or NIV device. I hide these items in strategic locations like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter.

This infliction is not due to an illness or disorder it is simply related to the fact that there is lack of organization & efficiency of the procurement of supplies. Don’t get me wrong I’m not that practitioner that carries a fanny pack around with me loaded like a “Bug Out Bag”. I carry the bare minimum a black pen & stethoscope; I just expect equipment to be available & located in the same place every time.

I previously mentioned that my story is less disturbing and goes unnoticed, conversely it should be alarming and noticed. See, healthcare supply inventory and the process of procuring these supplies are a large cost to the healthcare system.

A properly designed & engineered supply inventory & distribution system can save a hospital millions.

Here are some examples:

Inventory cost
Floor Space
Lead time
People distance (at least every week I’m walking around the hospital looking for supplies, wasted time).
Product distance
Setup time

*for more information on definitions [1].

[1] (2005). Going Lean in Health Care. Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Cambridge, MA.