Ailing Healthcare Supply Chain Needs Help, BlueBin Reports

Since implementing BlueBin’s solution in 2011, Mercy saved more than $1 million per year in waste and excess supplies, reduced clinical hours spent searching for supplies by more than 28,000 and reduced its bulk storage space by nearly 50 percent, BlueBin said.

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A new player in the healthcare supply chain marketplace has entered the fray, stating that its mission is to increasing efficiency and cutting costs in the supply chain, while directly improving quality of patient care.

According to spokesmen for BlueBin Inc., a Seattle-based software provider, the current methods used to manage supplies have been trouble spots in the industry for years, and often result in inefficient use of clinical staff, personnel conflicts, delayed procedures, and wasted supplies and money.

BlueBin Inc. has addressed these problems with its BlueBin supply demand software and has seen results at its flagship customer deployment, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, spokesmen add.

Since implementing BlueBin’s solution in 2011, Mercy saved more than $1 million per year in waste and excess supplies, reduced clinical hours spent searching for supplies by more than 28,000 and reduced its bulk storage space by nearly 50 percent, BlueBin said.

Dr. Howard Jeffries, CFO of BlueBin as well as a pediatric cardiac intensivist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, told SCMR in an interview that does not have any “solutions” partners (SAP, Oracle, for example). “We developed our software and analytics platform internally,” he said, adding that Omnicell, Par Excellence, and Par Excellence are viewed as competitors in the marketplace.

“BlueBin Inc. has new deployments under way at a number of hospitals,” said Jeffries. “We are also currently working to generate further awareness of our analytics platform with the goal of helping hospitals and healthcare systems across the country transform their supply chain distribution systems.”

On the front end, BlueBin is simple and streamlined for clinical staff to use. BlueBin’s software is based on the Demand Flow method. The Demand Flow method is a Kanban signaled replenishment system that uses visual cues to help ensure supplies are delivered to the right place, in the right quantity, at the right time. Prevalent in manufacturing and retail industries, it is a new concept in healthcare that enables clinicians to focus on patient care rather than materials management.

On the back end, BlueBin is coupled with analytics software for an end-to-end so approach that involves lean manufacturing techniques to achieve optimal supply levels at all times without the need for complex technology or costly bulk storage space.

The BlueBin product provides immediate, tangible and measurable changes toward lean methodology, including the removal of ambiguities and overcompensation to supply systems, concluded spokesmen.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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