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  • OPT Group

Inventory Optimization in the Perioperative Care Department Using Kotter's Change Model


Background: Perioperative services have been scrutinized in the context of cost containment in health care, particularly in the procurement and reprocessing of surgical instruments. Although solutions such as surgical instrument inventory optimization (IO) have been proposed, there is a paucity of literature on how to implement this change. The purpose of this project was to describe the implementation of an IO using Kotter's Change Model (KCM).

Methods: This study was conducted at a tertiary academic hospital across the four highest-volume surgical services. The IO was implemented using the steps outlined by KCM: (1) create coalition, (2) create vision for change, (3) establish urgency, (4) communicate the vision, (5) empower broad-based action, (6) generate short-term wins, (7) consolidate gains, and (8) anchor change. This process was evaluated using inventory metrics, operational efficiency metrics, and clinician satisfaction.

Results: Total inventory was reduced by 37.7%, with an average tray size reduction of 18.0%. This led to a total reprocessing time savings of 1,333 hours per annum and labor cost savings of $39,995 per annum. Depreciation cost savings were $64,320 per annum. Case cancellation rate due to instrument-related errors decreased from 3.9% to 0.2%. The proportion of staff completely satisfied with the inventory was 1.7% pre-IO and 80.0% post-IO.

Conclusion: This is the first study to describe the successful implementation of KCM to facilitate change in the perioperative setting. This success contributes to the growing body of literature supporting KCM as a valuable change management tool in health care.

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