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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Polyclinic Reduces Costs, Maintains Optimal Inventory Levels With Tribridge

The Polyclinic had a manual materials management process, and managing and minimizing supply chain costs was paramount. Access to the right supplies when and where they were needed was challenging, but essential to providing safe, high-quality healthcare. “We trusted the staff to order supplies based on perception versus actuality, and it was never precise,” explains Jeff Wall, Materials Manager at The Polyclinic. “Add to that seasonal illnesses such as cold or flu, and we would run out of supplies. It led to hoarding in some of the clinics, which meant we were overstocked for some materials.”

Leadership at The Polyclinic knew they had to make a change and improve medical supply replenishment. Additionally, The Polyclinic wanted to:
• Reduce involvement of clinical staff in logistical activities such as reordering, unpacking, and storing supplies to increase available time with patients
• Reduce stock-outs, the fear of which led clinical staff to hoard supplies, forage for supplies from other procedure rooms, and reorder in excessive quantities
• Reduce inventory levels to decrease costs, decrease likelihood of expired supplies, and reduce storage space requirements
• Rationalize the number of SKUs maintained by each practice to avoid tracking very infrequently used or obsolete supplies

Tribridge assisted The Polyclinic in deploying an innovative, lean manufacturing process commonly used outside the healthcare industry for its materials management.

Results: The Polyclinic streamlined its supply chain and reduced inventory turns, carrying cost, and waste from expired materials. By achieving a 99% fill-rate at the onset, end user confidence in the new replenishment approach was high from the start. “We have experienced savings on the clinical side of our business, and the new materials management system has improved morale in general,” says Wall.

Through the use of Tribridge’s Materials Management solution, “The Polyclinic was able to roll out a flexible medical supply chain that keeps inventory low while providing the right product at the right time in the right amount,” says Wall. “It’s a risk to operate in such a lean manner, but even if we run out of something, we now have meaningful data to review, determine why, and fix the problem.”

To learn more, visit the Tribridge Newsroom.

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