The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Kenneth Miller, David Blalock, Heather Skilies, Raymond Smith; Lehigh Valley Health Network, Bath, PA

Background: In large respiratory care departments locating a specific equipment item can sometimes be overwhelming. Often equipment is located by trial and error. Also equipment inventory continues to change as newer products are added and current items are replaced. This can cause critical delays in the delivery of care and can compromise patient outcomes in emergent situations. This also can lead to staff frustration and dissatisfaction. The necessity for an inventory location indexing system has become a critical need for any rapidly expanding respiratory department with an abundance of equipment and supplies. Method: An analysis of 395 respiratory supplies was conducted. 54 items (14%) had been discontinued, 311 items were stocked in our main storage room, and 30 items were special order items. Out of the 341 respiratory supplies, an average of 20 items (6%) is stocked on the general med/surg floors and an average of 60 items (18%) is stocked in the ICUs. Respiratory therapists and equipment technicians were questioned on the location of random items stocked in various units and the main equipment storage room. Although common items could be promptly located, sporadically used items proved difficult to find in a timely manner. Based on this response time to locate critical supplies, we identified the need for a system to rapidly identify the storage locations of any and all respiratory items. Results: The creation of a searchable on-line inventory document that includes photos and item locations, has significantly improved the response time for deliveries of all respiratory items . Before the creation of the indexing system, finding certain items could take up to a minimun of 10-20 minutes or even longer for seldom used items. Since the implementation of the indexing system, there have been no questions from therapists or newly hired equipment technicians regarding the location of any respiratory supplies. All staff can now locate any respiratory item within one minute. Equipment delays have be erracated and staff satisfication has been enhanced. Conclusion: The development of an on-line searchable equipment inventory system has increased response times for deliveries and has reduced therapist frustration. This system also limits the confusion of locating an item for therapists who need equipment urgently. In addition, the indexing system has proved beneficial in the training of newly hired staff. Sponsored Research - None