In the setting of tightening health care budgets and capped payments, new strategies are needed to reduce waste while still providing quality and safe care. Transitioning from disposable supplies to reusable options is a viable approach to save money.
To reduce the cost of the largest expense in the Adult Emergency Department
's budget by 20% by transiting from disposable to reusable pulse oximetry sensors.
We implemented an interdisciplinary quality improvement
project using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle to reduce supply costs in an urban, academic emergency department
with approximately 70 000 patient visits per year.
By switching to reusable supplies, we reduced the average cost of providing pulse oximetry readings by 56% and decreased budget estimates for supply acquisition by roughly $30 000 per month.
This project represents a successful interdisciplinary approach to significantly reducing a large budgetary line item with concrete cost savings
and highlights potential savings within reusable and disposable supply chains.