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Putting the count in accountability, PA Hospital’s Burke St Peritoneal Dialysis Unit (PDU) Assistant in Nursing, Kate Clarke took home PA’s December staff award, for her efforts in saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in consumable stock.
In October 2021, PDU identified a significant increase in the cost of products ordered direct to patients. With prior experience in sales and management and 10 years as an AIN, Kate volunteered to take on the challenge of identifying a more cost-effective resource with sustainable availability.
“When I started to look, I noticed there was a lot of potential to save a significant amount of money,” Kate said.
This project showed promise when the team changed one product provided to home dialysis patients, resulting in a $50,000 saving annually.
With the full review up and running, monitoring the orders, and manually scouting new products for potential savings, Kate estimates that she has saved over $250,000 for the unit in the first year.
“Changes had to be made, but like all changes it takes time to see the impact. The key to saving thousands of dollars was looking at pricing which changes regularly, always being on the lookout for potential savings, and making small but sustainable changes to how we do things.”
Kate’s award nomination commended her for expertly balancing the ordering stock for PDU’s 200 patients on home dialysis, catering to impromptu clinic attendances for urgent resupply without having a surplus of stock with the increased risk of stock wastage.
The current stock spans across three storerooms, with floor to ceiling boxes, ensuring the unit can get products to patients when they need them without disrupting their treatment.
“Ordering for the unit is a full-time commitment with unique challenges but I know that the team is always there to offer support. Kellie McDonald, was a great help with admin processes giving me more flexibility to work on the enormous amounts of stock,” Kate said.
She said aside from managing stock in the warehouse and in the clinic, educating patients at home about overstocking and minimising the risk of product expiration contributes to the savings within the unit.
“It’s important to educate the patients on what they need and what they don’t. It’s not only about numbers, but about teaching patients how to store their consumables to prevent spoilage and how to maintain their products so they get maximum use out of their order.”
“As a unit we have very little wastage and I think that’s because of our commitment to always look for ways to improve our efficiencies and make the unit more sustainable.”
Kate expects that in 2023 the savings from product changes will amount to more than half a million dollars.