Monday, September 28, 2009

Our First Results

We focused some of our efforts on our inventory. We have little storage space and looked for ways to decrease our inventory on hand. We have one inventory aide (out of 24.4 FTEs) that does our ordering and restocking. She began to decrease her order size over time and at the end of the year we took our fiscal year end inventory.

In 2007, our year end inventory totaled $97,102. In 2008, it totaled $52,365. We had reduced our inventory by $44,737 in one year!

I was amazed and celebrated the success with our inventory aide, who had been instrumental in the change. I ordered a bouquet of flowers from the local florist, purchased a gift card, and asked our CEO to join me in delivering the thank you. The inventory aide was shocked that we had acknowledged her hard work and she was overwhelmed with our thank you. It was well deserved.


  1. Dear Nancy

    My name is Paulo Pinto from Portugal and I run the Lean Thinking Community here and we are organizing a International Congress to take place in October 20/21st in Lisbon (Portugal, Europe). The main topic will be lean services (including lean healthcare).

    Are you interested to come? No fees are requested.

    Best regards,

    Joao Paulo Pinto,

  2. I would love to attend, but unfortunately I already have a committment for those dates. Please keep me on your mailing list for future conferences, and by the way, thanks for the comment!

  3. What are your thoughts on this Joint Commission policy change?

  4. In the outpatient setting, I believe that asking the patient their name and birthdate are still a good idea. Outpatients have to register for their OP treatment and are usually screened for their identity at that time.

    Inpatient phlebotomies bring a whole different set up problems and wristbands are key to helping identify the patient. In 1999, our hospital had a wristband error rate of 12.9%. I measured this using the College of American Pathologists Q-Track on Patient Identification. Today our error rate is below 1%. We have worked very hard on maintaining readable, accurate wristbands on our patients. We measure this parameter every month and will never stop measuring it, because what we value, we measure and patient safety is at the top of the list.