Operating room (OR) scheduling information systems can decrease perioperative labor costs. Material management information systems can decrease perioperative inventory costs. We used computer simulation to investigate whether using the OR schedule to trigger purchasing of perioperative supplies is likely to further decrease perioperative inventory costs, as compared with using sophisticated, stand-alone material management inventory control. Although we designed the simulations to favor financially linking the information systems, we found that this strategy would be expected to decrease inventory costs substantively only for items of high price ($1000 each) and volume (>1000 used each year). Because expensive items typically have different models and sizes, each of which is used by a hospital less often than this, for almost all items there will be no benefit to making daily adjustments to the order volume based on booked cases. We conclude that, in a hospital with a sophisticated material management information system, OR managers will probably achieve greater cost reductions from focusing on negotiating less expensive purchase prices for items than on trying to link the OR information system with the hospital's material management information system to achieve just-in-time inventory control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine