“Overall, we have 1,966 SKUs (unique supply items). Most of that currently is PPE,” Scott explains. PPE is arguably the most important material our Supply Chain team purchases during COVID-19. It’s been a critical item for hospitals around the U.S.
Given the volume and variety of patients who receive care at UC Health, orders flow in to the warehouse quickly throughout the day from the health system’s hospitals and outpatient facilities. Supply Chain staff have to be nimble and work fast to fill orders and ship them out quickly – time is of the essence.
When those orders come in, Scott’s team assembles a pallet (a small platform bed) with those specific items, wraps it and ships it to wherever it’s needed.
The team carefully monitors par levels for each item throughout the day. Par levels are the minimum amounts of inventory needed for specific supplies to ensure patient care is uninterrupted. Par levels can vary based on the item and the need for that item at any given time.
“We calculate our par levels by taking the average demand times the lead time, which is the amount of time it takes to order and get it here, times the safety factor, which is basically a buffer based off our experience of what we think would accommodate spikes in usage of that particular item,” Harold explains.
Team members take supplies into the warehouse and strategically organize them until inventory specialists submit requisitions, or written order requests. At UC Medical Center, UC Health’s largest hospital, inventory specialists roam each floor and monitor the supply closets. When a medical unit runs low on supplies, clinicians submit a requisition and Scott ensures that his team fills it promptly.
Typically, our main warehouse fills orders within 24 hours. Then the team loads the materials onto UC Health’s trucks and sends them wherever they are needed, whether it be UC Medical Center, West Chester Hospital, Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care or any of UC Health’s outpatient sites.
This morning, the first loaded supply truck heads a block away to UC Medical Center.
9:00 a.m. Supply Management at the Ready – USTOR
Over at UC Medical Center, another UC Health Supply Chain group works 24/7 to keep the 724-bed hospital’s supplies stocked. As Greater Cincinnati’s only Level I adult trauma center, UC Medical Center is home to specialized programs such as trauma care, solid organ transplant and comprehensive stroke care that present special needs from a supply chain perspective.
In the event of any emergencies or urgent requests, supplies can be ordered from University Storeroom, also known as “USTOR”, located deep within the eight-floor hospital. USTOR augments the operations of the health system’s main warehouse and is designed as a sort of “rapid response” supplier.