The Emergence of the Regional Operations Center in Support of Modern Care Delivery

| November 27, 2019

Medical supplies account for fifteen percent (on average) of a hospital’s expenses. This large expense also equates directly to a large volume of inventory that needs to be stored until they are used. With space inside a hospital at a premium, medical supply storage requirements are always a predicament for management.  The real estate demand plaguing health networks and hospitals to store medical supplies and deliver them efficiently has given rise to the development of a Regional Operations Center.  Traditionally medical supplies are stored at individual hospitals, with deliveries from vendors occurring at the hospital all day long.  Within larger health networks this system is repeated across multiple facilities.

Regional operations centers consolidate a hospital networks storage demands into a central location from which all medical supplies can be distributed to the hospitals.  This model of distribution not only frees up space in the hospitals but allows a network for greater and more efficient warehousing of supplies and more efficient distribution. A regional operations center is designed to better handle the delivery, storage and distribution of medical supplies than any hospital shipping and receiving department could.  The regional operations center can also be used to house other departments/services that are shared across a health networks hospitals.

This guide will provide an overview and history of the emergence of regional operations centers, the benefits of consolidating a health networks warehousing and distribution into a central facility, which services are optimal for being part of a regional operations center, the design challenges they present, the potential hazards of bulk storage and case studies

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This guide will enable readers to:

  • Evaluate the major challenges hospital networks face with inventory management and how a regional operations center can help solve them.
  • Identify the services and departments that can benefit from consolidating to a regional operations center.
  • Summarize the key aspects of a regional operations center’s infrastructure systems that will make it successful.
  • Explain unique design aspects that contribute to the success of a regional operations center.

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