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Volume 103, Issue 4 p. 407-413
Featured Article

Bar Code-Based Management to Enhance Efficiency of a Sterile Supply Unit in Singapore

First published: 19 March 2016
Citations: 4


Sterile surgical instruments are essential for successful surgical outcomes. The Singapore General Hospital's Theatre Sterile Supplies Unit (TSSU) has faced many challenges, including increasing demand for instruments and the need to maintain instruments of greater complexity. To address these challenges, stakeholders from key departments at Singapore General Hospital formed a multidisciplinary team to transform operations in the TSSU. The team adopted and implemented the TSSU Instrument Management System (TIMS) in three phases over five years. The project included standardizing instrument-naming conventions, implementing electronic integration of instrument tracking in the unit, extending traceability of instruments to the major ORs, initiating integrated web-based instrument ordering, and extending the system management of instruments at ambulatory surgery and specialized OR facilities. The implementation of TIMS has improved inventory, supply, and quality management; reduced instrument repairs; and led to savings through increased productivity and lower expenses.