Hospital logistics system (HLS) - Imporvement of processes and layouts

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The HLS Project (Hospital Logistics System), based on the KAIZEN concepts of continuous improvement, is known to progressively include more aspects of the internal distribution logistics of Centro Hospitalar do Porto, E. P. E. It is on the basis of these concepts of continuous improvement that the Golden Area projects were carried out.

Due to the fact that the Clinic Material Warehouse is the supplier for all three hospitals within Centro Hospitalar do Porto, E. P. E. (Hospital Santo Antonio, Hospital Maria Pia and Julio Dinis Maternity) and that its reliability is a must, it is easy to understand why this warehouse became a priority. At the moment, of all the warehouses, it is the only one that works almost entirely with a two-box kanban replenishment system. This replenishment system is based on supplying materials in two boxes per product with equal quantities per box. The immediate consequence of reducing stocks in the many hospital services is that the replenishment rate will increase, given a constant consumption rate. Once this was taken into consideration, it became necessary for products to be positioned within the warehouse according to consumption rates so that picking times could be reduced. This was when the ‘Golden Area’ concept was created and this area is where we can find the ‘A’ references. These references are the products with the highest consumption rates. More specifically, the Golden Area contains 10% of all references that represent approximately 80% of all volume of consumption.

Initially, the Clinic Material Warehouse was established in a series of small rooms where the products were laid out exclusively according to product families. At this point, no consumption rates were taken into consideration. For this first transitional phase, it was necessary to bring down a few walls in order to create an open space. After this, the whole layout was restructured according to consumption rates (A, B and C references). This was followed by the installation of the warehouse kanban system where each product has a card that determines when the next purchase order should be made and in what quantities. The Golden Area currently has a ‘dynamic shelf system’ where shelves are inclined towards the picker so that access difficulties are suppressed. This system also guarantees a more efficient FIFO (First In First Out) method. Similarly to what happened in the hospital services, the stock per product was also reduced in the golden area of the warehouse, forcing a higher replenishment rate. Replenishment is a full-time job, but since the pickers no longer have to replenish the shelves, all that was needed was a function restructuring rather than further hiring. The final stage of this Present Phase was to ensure visual management for faster and more error-free identification of the products. In order to achieve this, each box was identified with the product code, product name, bar code and shelf position. This way, both picking and replenishment can be done more easily.

Award info
Award category: public service delivery
Award type: submission
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Public health and social welfare/affairs
Type of activity:
Keywords: Hospital logistics system
Short English description: The final stage of this Present Phase was to ensure visual management for faster and more error-free identification of the products
Further information
Organisation: Centro Hospitalar do Porto E. P. E.
Other applicants:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Portugal
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

Hospital logistics system (HLS) - Imporvement of processes and layouts (8.0575995° S, 34.8854311° W)
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