Team-Tested Practices

How to Reduce Supply Expenses

This unit-based team set out to reduce its supply expenses by 10 percent. Members decreased minimum stock levels and made diagrams of shelves with new quantities. Staff labeled bins and removed, combined and organized the excess stock, and then used the excess as the primary source for exam room restock over the next four months. As a result, fewer supplies were stocked in exam rooms, fewer supplies were ordered and less stock expired (which would have needed to be replaced). In five months, the team saved nearly $24,700.

Here's What Worked

  • Involving nurses, physicians and materials management in the project from the beginning
  • Mobilizing all UBT members to use stickers to indicate which supplies they use—and which they could live without
  • Managing resistance to change

What can your team do to engage everyone in performance improvement efforts? What else could your team do to encourage feedback and help individuals manage change?


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