Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

Automating the OR supply chain


A culture of medication safety:

Automating the OR supply chain at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

Implementing point-of-use automation for the operating room supply chain not only generated additional net revenue, but also yielded operational efficiencies.


Memorial Hermann was saddled with a cumbersome supply inventory system using different processes in each hospital, resulting in lost charges, loss of productivity and untracked supplies.


Point-of-use automation was applied to the surgical areas to improve cost and revenue, clinical workflow efficiency and supply chain effectiveness.


The hospital achieved:

  • $67 million in additional charge capture.
  • $13 million in additional net revenue, which includes the cost of the point-of-use OR supply automation, and results primarily from improved charge capture and inventory control.
  • Process standardization with improved accountability and transparency.
  • Significant operational environment improvements, with more control of supplies and fulfillment processes.
  • Improved clinician job satisfaction, especially among OR nurses who no longer need to reorder OR supplies and can spend more time on patient care.
  • Improved materials management satisfaction, due to the standardization of supplies and inventory controls.



  • Implementing point-of-use automation for the oper- ating room supply chain involved automating and standardizing supply chain processes.
  • Each supply item was identified and assigned a unique code as part of the automated chargemaster catalog.
  • The pilot generated additional net revenue and yielded operational efficiencies.



"The supply chain professionals, the executives here on campus and really everyone was pleased that we were able to get our inventory down and move toward a just-in-time process—reducing OR supply expenses, while better capturing OR charges." 

Mary Oetken, Chief of Financial Reporting and Budgeting

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Image copyright of Memorial Hermann Healthcare

Reprinted from the October 2010issue of hfmmagazine. Copyright 2010by Healthcare Financial Management Association,

Two Westbrook Corporate Center, Suite 700, Westchester, IL 60154. For more information, call 1-800-252-HFMA or visit PS2290 (1010/2000)

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