I interviewed Hans Groen who discussed The Atypical Position of Operations Rooms Within the Hospital Supply Chain.





Can you provide a brief background about yourself?


Well, I have my educational background in logistics and performance management. I have a degree in logistic business administration. At first, I worked a couple of years, just regular jobs for companies such as Netlight. And for over 25 years now, I'm an independent management consultant with the field of expertise in supply chain and performance management. Performance management is then specifically increasing the improving the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations throughout your organization. So, that can involve any type of project, any type of department on that.


What is the atypical position of operation's rooms within the hospital supply chain?


The important thing is they are in the center of the healthcare within a hospital. And they are the most important department when it comes to generating revenue for the hospital. And let's say the atypical thing about an operating room is that, due to the fact that they are the most important part of generating money for the hospital, they really pull and push at the same time to the other departments in order to process as many operations as they can. And that is different, atypical from a supply chain, because normally on a supply chain, you have on one side, your customer who is pulling at the organization for its demands. And on the other side of the supply chain, normally you have suppliers who are pushing their supplies into the supply chain in order to get it to the patient.


They are in the center, and they are deciding, they are steering the entire supply chain, but at such a pace that most internal supply chains of hospitals are not able to keep up with it. And that's one of the major challenges for hospitals, because if they balance their production, if an operating room balance their production based on the demand and on the capacity of the healthcare departments, they have to decrease their speed. And they have to decrease the number of operations they are performing.


And with that, of course, you get a lower revenue.


So, that's the big issue, the big challenge with operating rooms. I hope it's a bit clear.


What are your recommendations?


Well, the problem... What we're trying do now... There are two ways you can approach this. One side, the regular care departments, the regular health departments, either speed up, they become efficient so they can actually process the patients towards the operating and process patient's coming off the operating room, recovery departments, because that's one part. That's one thing you can do.


And other thing is actually lower the number of operations that is performed on a daily basis, harmonized with the capacity with the healthcare departments. But that's a difficult tradeoff question because you're lowering your revenue without actually reducing your costs. But for the quality of the supply chain, and especially for a more balanced line, better supply chain within the hospital, it would be the better recommendation.


But then again, you get into the financial aspects of it, and that's where most hospitals have problems making their decision, first of all, to make their times calculations and to look at these kinds of trade offs, they're going to want to do as many operations as we can and have an occupants rate on the operating rooms of at least 90-95%.But the rest of the supply chain cannot keep up with that kind of pace.


So, we're looking at, first of all, balancing from the operating, balancing and harmonizing their supply chain, and on the other side, how can we increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the regular healthcare departments? And that's quite a challenge because, of course, the healthcare departments have different kinds of goals. Their much more focused on treating the patients in the most human way and the most friendly way, spending a lot of time with patients to make them feel comfortable that they have enough attention and so on. They're not really focused on the process of the operating rooms. They're much more focused on the customer satisfaction.


And there's also a quality trade off. At that time, how do you look upon your patient? Are they just a product that needs to go through the hospital supply chain, or is the patient actually a customer who you need to treat in the best possible way.So, that's also quality trade off at that point.



About Hans Groen



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Hans Groen

Sr Professional Supply Chain & Performance Management

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