Focused, agile and efficient, the Materials Management team at Mount Sinai Hospital works quietly in the background. With exact precision, they plan, order and move a carefully calculated number of crucial supplies, methodically and systematically.

“On a daily basis, we scan and order about 1,400 lines per day. Each line may have one item, or it may have 10 and more. We get about 36 carts every night full of supplies, and about eight to 10 skids,” says Iqbal Malak, Site Manager for Materials Management. “What we strive for is to have the right product at the right time for the right patient.”

Tucked away and behind-the-scenes, much of Materials Management’s work supports patient-facing departments. Registered Nurse Wendy Macey, Clinical Coordinator for the Pre Admission Unit/Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU), Surgical Services speaks to the significance of this support.

“As a front-line nurse in a critical care environment, having supplies readily available is so important. The Materials Management team was super helpful, especially when our PACU became a temporary ICU space. The team ensured we were well stocked and worked with us to adapt to constant changes occurring within the unit. This was imperative to our ability to care for our ICU patients during this critical time.”

Recently, the team was tasked with building a completely new supply system for the newly redeveloped Surgical Services Floor and Emergency Department (ED). Of priority was developing supply carts to stage supplies closer to patients, and to save steps for nurses.

“A supply cart is a very critical part of any unit. The cart carries materials used in a department based on our cart profile, based on usage,” says ‘master cart builder’ John Medeiros, Customer Service Coordinator for Materials Management.

For the opening of the new surgical services and operating rooms, creating a new supply system would have taken about six weeks. But with COVID-19 considerations, the team had three. “It was a lot of hard work. Long hours. Week days and weekends. But we were proud to deliver the product on time,” said John.

For the opening of the ED’s west side, the team consulted with ED nurses to determine what items would best support their new space, and what would be the most ideal layout for supply cart “fast picks”.

The importance of Materials Managements’ contributions has been especially evident in its role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department continues to supply and maintain PPE, on a daily basis, to every area of the hospital.