By Marilyn Pfaff
will save about $1.5 million over the next five years after
creating a depot where specialty beds and clinical equipment can be stored,
cleaned and serviced instead of rented from multiple vendors.
The UPMC Equipment Depot, located in the South Side Distribution Center (SSDC), was created this year by UPMC's Supply Chain Management to help reduce expenses
for rental equipment and better control inventory. Medical equipment offered by
the depot includes low beds, bariatric
beds, air mattresses and pumps, and
bariatric air mattresses and pumps.
The initial monthly savings calculations show positive results. When
comparing the historic daily rental rates paid to outside vendors to the actual
operating costs of the new Equipment Depot, the Equipment Depot generated
$98,000 in savings in September 2012 and $129,000 in October 2012. The depot is
expected to break even within 18 to 24 months.
In addition to promising financial results, the time from order placement to delivery has significantly improved. Previously, rental
orders were fulfilled within four hours for emergency orders, and up to 24
hours for nonemergency orders. Now, many of UPMC’s larger hospitals have
designated Equipment Depot storage areas where a set of equipment is kept,
enabling turnaround times that are now averaging between 30 and 45 minutes per
The UPMC Equipment Depot team also tracks the locations of clinical
equipment as it moves from one facility to the next. To accomplish this, the
Equipment Depot Project Team has partnered with AeroScout to fit each piece of equipment with a radio-frequency identification tag.
These tags emit a signal when entering or exiting the receiving dock at the
hospitals or SSDC, and that signal will register on the network and update the
location of the equipment in the tracking system.
and UPMC Shadyside
were the first two hospitals to go live
with the Equipment Depot in August 2012. The service was introduced to other
Pittsburgh-based hospitals over a period of three months. As of early November,
all of the Pittsburgh-based hospitals are now using the Equipment Depot.
Approximately 300 Equipment Depot devices are being utilized by UPMC hospitals.