6/29/2010--Seattle, WA, USA...Nurses Susanne Mathews (behind) and Daria Cassese (front) getting supplies in the Seattle Children's Hospital ICU unit, using a new supply system instituted by the hospital early last year. Supplies are now in a well organized and fully stocked supply rack-- following practices that are typically used in factories, not hospitals. ..Each item is in two bins, so when one is empty, the second is pulled forward. Empty containers are taken to the central supply office and their barcodes scanned to generate a re-order with the medical supply company. As a result, the hospital's central supply group no longer maintains a huge warehouse of goods, some of which had to be thrown out because they were too old. ..The new supply system is one example of continuous process improvement (CPI), a practice which has touched just about every department of Seattle Children's Hospital. ..Using the new system, the Seattle Children's has saved $200 million in building costs by using the facilities they have more efficiently....©2010 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.