A Better Way to Manage Supplies

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Lean Six Sigma

Tammy Ellies
Project Manager
Department of Internal Medicine
University of Michigan Health System

Ruste Wilke
Lean Coach
Michigan Quality System
University of Michigan Health System

The University of Michigan Health System is using lean principles to increase value and reduce waste throughout the organization. This presentation describes the Michigan Qualty System methodology and outlines the tools, metrics, and results of several supply management projects at UMHS.

Value stream mapping workshops were conducted in separate areas (inpatient bed unit and medical procedures unit) to improve supply management processes. The general goal was to have the right supply in the right location at the right time, while controlling supply costs. Lean tools such as 5S, gemba observations, value stream mapping, and waste and root cause analysis were used. Results include standardization and simplification of patient bedside supply carts, establishment of new supply levels, development of metrics, improved collaboration with materiel services, revenue increase ($250,000/year) and supply cost savings ($68,000/year), less urgent/supplemental runs (4.5/bed/month to 1.7/bed/month). Key success factors include involving the staff who do the work on a daily basis, and partnering with material services to find new and efficient ways to manage supplies.