Applications of Kitting Materials Feeding Policy to Healthcare: A Case Study in a Perioperative Services Department

Bonczar, Lawrence, Systems Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
White, K. Preston, Department of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia

“Kitting,” a materials feeding policy used in manufacturing, involves the creation of kits of raw and sub-assembled components that in total amount to all of the material required for one (or sometimes more) final assemblies. Most large hospitals assemble kits of instruments and disposable supplies for use during surgeries. The efficacy of the kitting process directly contributes to the quality of patient care during a surgical event, as well as to the improved flow of patients through the operating room. This paper reviews research on kitting as a materials feeding policy and applies it to a case study in a perioperative services department. After a thorough literature review and description of the four variations on materials feeding policies, the state-of-the-art in kitting research will be described and applied to the kitting process in the operating room. The state-of-the-art was determined to be a mixed-integer linear programming model that was recently published in the kitting literature that determines for each item in a system’s inventory if a given item should be supplied in a kit or in a bulk to the point of use.

To apply the model to the perioperative services department a conceptual mapping was performed between terminologies in kitting literature, which is predominantly oriented towards manufacturing, to concepts in the perioperative department’s materials feeding system. This conceptual mapping allowed for the application of the state-of-the-art model. The model from the kitting literature was modified from its original formulation to be able to describe the perioperative system. The model became a binary integer program, whereas the original model was mixed-integer linear. The model formulation was coded using AMPL and solved using Gurobi 5.6. The model showed how a cost savings of $31,000 annually could be attained through a reassignment of parts’ materials feeding policies.

MS (Master of Science)
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