Baylor Health Care Standardizes Par Management

Posted October 13, 2010

Motorola MC70The company: Baylor Health Care System
The Baylor Health Care System of Dallas-Fort Worth has served its North Texas community for more than 100 years. Baylor provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient, rehabilitation and emergency medical services through owned, leased, or affiliated hospitals and surgical services at short-stay hospitals. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing, Baylor continues its mission as a non-profit with a focus on innovation and research.

The challenge: Standardized, efficient enterprise-wide inventory management
The Baylor Health Care System is committed to providing advanced health care options, treatments, and procedures to its patients. Baylor also provides strategic technology for departments to support that care.

“Materials and supply chain departments at our hospitals use Lawson software for inventory management, managing the pars in each of our facilities,” said Terry Worsham, Project Leader, Supply Chain Informatics, Baylor Health Care System. “However, some were using outdated handheld technology and some were doing these functions manually. So when it came time to upgrade our Lawson MSCM system, we saw the opportunity to standardize the equipment and processes across all of our hospital facilities,” Worsham said.

Baylor has over 400 pars spread across 12 hospitals with approximately 27,000 items in its Lawson catalog. Improving efficiency and reducing the costs of delivering supplies to end users were two key goals of standardizing the inventory system.

Baylor Supply Chain Informatics also wanted to implement a solution that would streamline support. The Informatics team was providing on-site support for the old hardware at each hospital, and this was inefficient in terms of staff resources and time.

The solution: Motorola enterprise digital assistants (EDA) running Lawson software
The Baylor Supply Chain Informatics team, IS team, and materials managers from Baylor hospitals did hands-on evaluations of several mobile computers including the Motorola MC70 EDA.

“Lawson told us that they recommended the Motorola MC70. We also talked with other Lawson clients, and a lot of them preferred the MC70,” Worsham said.

“We tried out several alternatives, and in the end we liked that the MC70 was so feature rich,” Worsham explained. “The scanning capabilities and the size and weight of the MC70 make it easy to use and the keypads are easy and functional. Unlike some of the devices we considered, the MC70 offers choices like the optional pistol grip. We liked that the MC70 enabled us to offer our employees choices, too,” he stated.

Rudy Martinez, Business Analyst II, Supply Chain Informatics, at Baylor Health Care System emphasized the value of the ruggedness of the MC70. “When I did demonstrations at the facilities, the first thing the employees asked was ‘is it durable?’ We actually dropped an MC70 on the floor—the employees were scared, but the mobile computer was fine, not even a scrape,” Martinez said.

Baylor purchased approximately 90 Motorola MC70s. Across 11 Baylor hospital facilities, employees now scan bar codes on supplies using the MC70s and transmit data to the Lawson system over Baylor’s internal wireless infrastructure. Baylor also relies on the Motorola Service from the Start program in case a repair is ever needed.

For simplified, centralized management of the system, Baylor is using Motorola’s Mobility Services Platform (MSP). “With the MSP, we can go online and handle issues with the mobile computers without making a site visit. This remote feature is great: the MSP has proven to be a good tool and a real timer saver for us,” Worsham said.

“We can reconfigure new MC70s rapidly as needed,” Martinez stated. “We have a new hospital coming up in a year or two, and it will be an easy transition to get this system in place,” he added.

The benefits: Rapid replenishment and reduced labor hours
“Employees are delivering supplies to the floors faster with the new system,” Worsham stated. “This means that nurses and techs have what they need when they need it, so it also results in better service to Baylor patients,” he said.

Hundreds of labor hours are saved every day across Baylor’s facilities. Labor cost savings come from faster parring and also the ability to reassign employees.

One user in a hospital pharmacy emailed Worsham that before the new system, it took him 20 to 30 minutes to order IV solutions each morning: now he spends just a few minutes scanning barcodes.

“At the Dallas hospital, we used to have 10 or 15 employees parring the nursing floors, the ER, the pharmacy, and elsewhere, and then all coming back to download. Today that is handled by just two employees and most of the floors are getting supplies before noon,” Worsham explained.

Several Baylor hospitals were handling the inventory process manually in the past. “They used to go onto the floor with pen and paper and then come back and key the par data into Lawson. Now with the MC70s the process is real-time, it’s automatic, and they love it. Without this system, it would be a much longer day for the employees,” Worsham said.

“According to the managers I speak with, when none of the pars have problems, we’re getting parring done by 9 or 9:30 every day instead of waiting until 2 or 3 in the afternoon,” Worsham noted. “I’ve seen teams start in the morning and par 35 or 40 locations in just two hours,” he added.

The system also improves accuracy. “When an employee downloads a par, we can see it in the system almost immediately. If there is a problem like an incorrect vendor linked to an item, we can react quickly to solve it,” Worsham explained.

With the Motorola MSP, the Supply Chain Informatics team can perform troubleshooting or answer employee questions about the MC70s remotely. This saves an average of three hours a week that the team spent traveling to and from Baylor facilities for on-site problem solving.

For Baylor Health Care System, the benefits of Motorola EDAs and upgraded Lawson software include:
• Replenishing supplies faster and more efficiently
• Reducing labor hours spent parring and replenishing
• Eliminating on-site visits for technical trouble shooting with Motorola MSP
• Increasing inventory accuracy
• Enhancing patient care by ensuring that supplies are ready when needed

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