Arnold Palmer Hospital’s is one of the most important hospitals in the US where it specializes in treatment of women and children. One of its main goals is manage a reduce costs, for this reason Arnold Palmer hospital uses some crucial just-in-time (JIT) techniques. These techniques help to maintain the control of its inventory with a high efficiency and low cost. The mission of this case will be answering the discussion questions, but focusing in Just-in-time strategies trying to cut costs, variability and waste.
The first question is concerning about open pack errors. What do you recommend if we found a pack open for an operation? In this case the direct solution will be order or get another pack as soon as possible.
According to the video, Arnold Palmer Hospital uses a JIT system where the packs are bulky, expensive and must remain sterile, but this scenario showed us that if they make an error, they have one-day to get back the pack and used another spare pack accounted in inventory. This one-day allows the hospital to talk with McKesson (Delivery Company) and recognize and identify the reasons of the error and make the correction action. This question displayed the big advantage of the JIT system inventory for Arnold Palmer Hospital.
The second question asks about improvement technique. How might the procedure for custom surgical packs described here be improved? Arnold Palmer Hospital achieved the area of custom surgical packs thanks to its JIT system. In order to improve this technique, they can reduce the quantity of packs in the buffer to less than one day. Time is crucial in this case scenario because normally the hospital has one to fix this issue. If they try to handle this problem in less than one day, will be a big improvement and an increase in efficiency.
The third question is about JIT services (suppliers, layout, inventory, and scheduling). Let’s give examples of each of these at Arnold Palmer Hospital. Suppliers give a habitually excellent service (receiving the packs one time). Layout is vital, and the design of the storage was made very close to the work area in order to minimize time and maximize space (not space for extra inventory). Inventory is link with layout because this technique is based in not have too much space; the reason is that we don’t want to produce, receive and store.
The efficiency at Arnold Palmer Hospital is based only in the required and necessary supplies. Finally, Scheduling medical packs only when it is necessary or indispensable.
The last question asks about supply chain system. If a Doctor proposes a new surgical procedure and the hospital needs a new customize surgical pack, the recommendation will be introduce for revision of this new procedure to the Medical-Economic Department. Changes in medical packs or new medical instruments can change the hospital’s budget (favorable or unfavorable of the hospital). This kind of proposal must be evaluated for this department since main goal’s hospital is reducing cost in the supply chain and JIT systems.
In conclusion, Arnold Palmer Hospital’s JIT system reduces inventory investment, costly traditional ordering, and massive storage, and supports quality with a sterile/sanitary delivery. In addition, this JIT system maximizes efficiency reducing costs in supply chain system.
It is important to maintain an adequate control in JIT system, implementing changes in order to emphasize problem solving. Excess inventory and waste cuts variability, and nowadays these are issues for operations managers, but with this case we learned that JIT is a key component of Lean operations, and if it is well applied, we can give interesting strategies and techniques with rapid response and low cost.