Department: Central Supply/SPD

Bed Size Classification








< 49 Licensed Beds

 50 - 99 Licensed Beds

 100 - 199 Licensed Beds

200 - 299 Licensed Beds

 300 - 399 Licensed Beds

400 - 499 Licensed Beds

500+ Licensed Beds

Inventory Amount








Typical Inventory Turns

The Central Supply/SPD area typically turns 8.5 - 10.5 times per year. This translates to having a day's on-hand inventory of 34.8 to 42.9 days (calculated as: 365 annual days divided by 8.5 to 10.5 inventory turns).

The Changing Nature Of Central Supply/SPD

Once upon a time, the Central Supply Department was the repository of, and distributor for, all supplies used throughout the Hospital, including the Nursing floors. They even did some sterilizing for the O.R. whenever the O.R.'s sterilizers were down. They cleaned, bagged & distributed various pieces of patient need equipment (i.e., hyper/hypothermia blankets, feeding pumps, Gomco suction machines, etc.) and assistant support products (i.e., walkers, bedside toilets, canes, crutches, etc.). We can even remember the chrome or stainless steel bedpans, surgical basins, urinals and fracture bedpans. There were even special washers for these metal products. Additionally, distilled water needed to be manually sterilized for the O.R. in the days before sterile water was available in the disposable plastic containers. Most Hospitals had a bottle washer to handle these sterile water containers and glass bottles were forever falling off the cart onto the floor.

Patients were charged for supplies by the application of a pre-printed, piggybacked "sticker" to an addressographed card carrying all pertinent patient information. Those cards were collected by C.S. staff, who made sure the correct patient was billed for each supply item; the Nursing floor was charged (at Hospital cost) for any stickers unaccounted-for, or unreconciled. The patient charge was marked-up according to a standard formula & the patient's bill was submitted to a third-party payor. A good amount of the bill was paid & the Hospital made money.

Then, the various hospital Storerooms cropped up to handle bulk goods; these rooms took a lot of the inventory away from C.S. and filled their own shelves. The majority of stock supplies were now being distributed throughout the facility by Storeroom staff. Central Supply Departments then became busier handling various I.V. pumps and other patient use items (i.e., circo-electric beds, air mattresses, PCA pumps, etc.).

Slowly, the workload to clean, wrap & sterilize packs, gowns & towels shifted from the O.R. to Central Supply. So did the responsibility for identifying the various instruments in the packs and purchasing replacements for damaged or missing instruments. This also meant that C.S. prepared packs for the E.R., Special Procedures, O.B., the Cath Lab and any other area needing reusable sterile packs. The introduction of flexible scopes into the surgeon's operating protocol further increased the workload for C.S. and the ETO sterilizer.

The increased use of case carts for the Department of Surgery meant that C.S. now handled supplies they, typically, were not as familiar with as the O.R. was. In effect, they became the O.R.'s primary supplier.

Case Carts: Fact vs. Fancy

We, at MMC, have done our share of cost-justifying O.R. case carts for hospitals which do not have them currently. In all studies, the results are the same; case carts, when implemented correctly and monitored for effectiveness, can save significant money for the O.R.. These are the factors to consider when implementing a case cart system for your O.R.:

Factors Affecting Inventory Dollars & Inventory Turns

Product Lines With The Largest Financial Impact

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