The Greenville Hospital System (GHS), which is comprised of five hospital campuses and a number of outpatient facilities, is the largest health system in South Carolina. The Greenville Memorial Hospital University Medical Center is the flagstone facility. At 735 licensed beds the tertiary-care health care campus, was originally designed for 300 beds, with an infrastructure that had not grown in 34 years.
The Schachinger Group (TSG) was engaged by GHS’s architect, to: study, program, design, bid and implement the replacement or modernization of: Remote Materials Service Center, Docks and Receiving, Central Sterile Supply Department, and Automated and Manual Materials Handling Systems including modernization of the 6” pneumatic tube and replacement automated guided vehicle system (AGVS) with automated elevators and cart washing.
REMOTE MATERIALS DISTRIBUTION CENTER– During the early part of this engagement, TSG was commissioned to perform an expanded and detailed study of the supply chain for the entire Greenville Hospital System. The results indicated many cost and operational advantages for a self operated Materials Distribution Center (MDC) to service the current and future health care system. The study reviewed the build / lease and location alternatives as well as various levels of physical and IT automation. The final configuration provided GHS with a (long term) leased facility with a state of the art order fulfillment system fully integrated with the System’s MIS. When compared to the costs for equal services from a commercial enterprise, the new MDC provides an ongoing cost savings of over 17% annually, with an initial reduction of “system” inventories of ~ 35%. Additionally, the time spent on the supply chain functions by Nursing and other departmental staff is substantially reduced.
The new 123,000 ft MDC facility, which opened in the late winter of 2006, was designed to support state of the art materials management technologies such as pick-to-light, WMS, barcodes and eventually RFID. Pick rates went from ~40 lines per hour per employee to over 200. The MDC will have an ability to expand in place to support 2,500 beds while the other facilities in the system will no longer require any substantial increases in materials related spaces even as GHS adds beds and services.
AUTOMATED GUIDED VEHICLE SYSTEM (AGVS)
The replacement AGVS is estimated to reduce operating costs at the Greenville Memorial Hospital by over $2,000,000 annually. This new Automated Guided Vehicle System will provide over 1,900 cart transports on an average day. These transports include supplies, clean and soiled linens, hot patient food, retail goods, case carts, wastes and other materials. The supplies and linens sent from the MDC have their final destinations pre-programmed while they are still at the MDC. Attendants merely need to offload carts from the delivery truck and then stage them in the local ATS pickup stations. They are then automatically picked up and delivered to their intended destinations by the automated vehicles without further attention. The AGVS replacement system is planned to eliminate approximately 67 FTE’s allowing their reassignment to more valuable and productive activities.
CENTRAL STERILE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT
- A distinct part of the revitalization plan for the Greenville Memorial Hospital was the need to modernize and expand the capabilities of Surgical and Invasive Services and related support functions, including Central Sterile Supply.
A major issue was to find a location within the hospital that would house the 16,000 ft TSG had programmed for this function. More space would be needed to add 12 to 16 new operating rooms.
Nothing of this size was readily available with the only options that would use existing spaces would be to design the CS operation split into two or more locations.
After an exhaustive study TSG recommended the construction of a new building addition that would sit above the new docks (CSSD programmed and designed by TSG) with a new OR suite sitting above
the new CSSD. This solution was accepted with construction completed and solutions successfully
implemented in 2007. The new CSSD is serviced by the remote distribution center and the AGVS.
RECEIVING DOCKS, MATERIALS AND WASTE MANAGEMENT SUPPORT AREAS
– An integral part
of the logistics upgrades included the modernization of Greenville Memorial Hospital’s (GMH) receiving docks and the ground level materials support departments. TSG programmed and designed the interim and the permanent loading docks that increased
receiving efficiencies by over 40%. The new docks and receiving areas are designed to
interface with the physical and operational characteristics of the new Materials Distribution
Center to maximize efficiencies.
TSG provided the studies, programming and designs for the ground floor materials, linens, waste management and other revisions that modernized existing operations and added new capabilities and functions such as automated AGVS cart washing, automated waste cart management and new elevators for the AGVS.
PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM MODERNIZATION AND EXPANSION –The existing 6” pneumatic tube systems at the GMH and Patewood hospitals required both modernization to correct
existing design and installation deficiencies and expansions to handle facility expansions and renovations. TSG provided
the technical evaluations of the existing systems and the studies needed to determine the actual needs of the
facilities in question. TSG then provided the concepts, designs and specifications for the work to be accomplished.
The revisions to the system at GMH will handle over 200% of the capacity of the existing PTS not including the traffic
generated by the system expansions.