Healthcare organizations face a multitude of challenges when it comes to documenting and tracking supplies that come and go through a facility (Carr, Pilch, & Shill, 2016).
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When William Clark joined McCovey Medical Center as the Chief Operating Officer (COO), one of his first orders of business was to study the organization’s structure, distribution of departmental responsibilities, and allocation of resources to see if there were any opportunities to better control operating costs.
While touring the facilities, Mr. Clark encountered a situation which caused him great concern. In a maintenance warehouse located near Central Supply, several dozen large cartons of paper products and other office supplies were being stored on industrial shelves along the back wall. Mr. Clark sought to determine the team ultimately responsible for the supplies and why the supplies were not stored in a more appropriate setting (e.g., inside the main building). Since the supplies were stored near Central Supply, Mr. Clark made that his first stop. The manager of Central Supply stated that the supplies belonged to the Purchasing Department and were there due to limited space availability in their own storeroom. Since the supplies had been undisturbed for several months, it was assumed that it was probably a case of over-ordering. Mr. Clark next visited the Purchasing Department where he asked the manager about the supplies being stored in the maintenance warehouse. He was informed that it all actually belonged to Central Supply and that since they don’t know what to do with any of it their manager stuck everything on a shelf in the warehouse.
Mr. Clark’s investigation eventually hit a dead end when he could not locate any documentation that might tell him to which department the supplies belonged. The purchase orders and accounting’s records of payments were all on file; however, the purchase requisitions had been only partially completed. In fact, there were no signatures on any of the paperwork and the receiving copies of the purchase orders were nowhere to be found.
Mr. Clark determined that the paper products represented a 10-year supply. In total, the “orphan supplies” represented several thousands of dollars in inventory that no department claimed.
Based on this scenario, answer the following questions (derived from McConnell, 2019):
1. What are the systemic problems Mr. Clark has uncovered?
2. What can be said about the state of departmental authority versus individual responsibility in the case of the orphan supplies?
3. What would it take to create systemic change on this issue?
4. What are some strategies that can be put in place to prevent such spending in the future?
5. What do you recommend Mr. Clark do with the orphan supplies? Explain your rationale.
Length: 2–3 pages (excluding title page, references page, and any appendices)
References: Include a minimum of 3 peer-reviewed, scholarly resources.
Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your assignment should also reflect graduate-level writing and APA standards (6th edition). Be sure to adhere to University’s Academic Integrity Policy.
Carr, J., Pilch, P., & Shill, S. (2016, April 28). Unclaimed property concerns for the healthcare industry – part one. Healthcare Practice Leaders. Retrieved from bdo.com.
McConnell, C. R. (2019). The effective health care supervisor (9th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.