Supply chain tip of the week: Free up the frontline staff

When considering how to best support patient outcomes, direct clinician-patient interaction usually comes to mind. However, the supply chain can also serve as a strategic asset for improving clinical operations and supporting outcomes, according to Ruth Damron, MBA, BSN, RN, CMRP, a strategic solutions consultant at Cardinal Health.

She shared the following tip with Becker's Hospital Review.


"We know it's common to see nurses in a hospital searching across multiple locations for something that's needed to treat a patient — whether it's a particular implant or a cardiac catheter in a specific size. In fact, research suggests nurses typically spend as much as 30 percent of their time searching for products.


"If clinical staff could reallocate this time, most would spend it with patients, according to a recent survey. By adopting a lean inventory system such as Kanban and using automated technology to track supplies, hospitals can streamline time-consuming supply chain tasks and empower frontline staff to work more efficiently by focusing on direct patient care responsibilities.

"When caregivers have sufficient time to care for patients — rather than forage for products — employee satisfaction increases, which, in turn, supports overall patient satisfaction. It's a win-win approach for streamlining operations and creating sustainable outputs."

If you would like to submit a supply chain tip of the week, please contact Mackenzie Bean and

More articles on supply chain:

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FDA grants tentative approval to Mylan's HIV/AIDS drug: 3 things to know

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