HomeStrategiesCase StudiesHow inventory tracking empowers global supply chains

nurse going through her supplies
nurse going through her supplies

How inventory tracking empowers global supply chains

OWS and Medline partner to help make a surgery center in Honduras more efficient.

The team

One World Surgery and Medline
GPS of Honduras on a map

Holy Family Surgery Center in Honduras is operated by OWS, a not-for-profit organization that partners with healthcare providers and communities to help deliver high quality surgical and primary care globally. They’ve seen firsthand the challenges low-resource health systems face in delivering care—and the impact supply chain improvements can have on the speed, accessibility and standard of care patients receive.

OWS delivers care to the region through the following:

icon symbolizes medical facility


OR surgery centers
located outside of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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medical teams
hosted yearly

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acre ranch
setting for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) children’s home

The challenge

Stretched thin on time and resources, staff members struggled to track and organize donated supplies. Without a proper inventory tracking system in place, volunteer clinicians spent significant time looking for supplies or waiting on others to deliver what was needed. When critical surgical items were never accounted for, operating costs increased, limiting the ability to plan for the future and contributing to high turnover times.

“In a place where care is needed the most, the ability to provide efficient care can be tremendously difficult.”

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In a low-resource setting, the impact of every dollar goes even further to treat more patients. Medline’s supply chain and perioperative teams identified key opportunities for increased efficiency:

  • Improvements in storage
  • Replenishment methodology
  • PAR level optimization

We partnered with clinical staff to develop processes that worked best for them, providing ongoing education and support.

The solution

In August 2018, Medline began a 3-phase plan to better manage and track inventory. Now, the surgery center can:

  • Forecast supply needs more accurately
  • Hold less inventory
  • Increase OR efficiency from set-up to turnover

The result

OWS’s new system will grow with them as they expand beyond Honduras and open their next site in the Dominican Republic.

“Having our supplies organized and readily available when we need them has been a critical component to being able to increase our volumes from 10-20 patient consults per day to well over 50.”

OWS staff member

Key outcomes

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5 truckloads of excess product
redistributed to local facilities

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1,000+ square feet freed up
for staff to easily find what they need

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Reduced turnover times
in the OR

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First-in-first-out system
for efficient shelf pulls

icon of a surgical tray

Less surgical time lost
due to tracking down supplies

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