Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Sara A. McComb

Committee Member 1

Steven Landry

Committee Member 2

Kathleen Abrahamson


Managing the costs of supplies within healthcare facilities has been a task that has plagued the health industry for many years. Many facilities are accustomed to using a par system approach. This involves bringing an inventory item to an amount sufficient for daily operation. This method often requires daily inspection by a healthcare worker, which reduces his/her time spent performing value added tasks. Employees at small healthcare facilities have multiple responsibilities, therefore they cannot afford to spend much time on inventory management. A proposed approach is the Kanban method, which allows for strict monitoring of inventory items without the need of constant inspection. Items are organized according to the ABC classification system, with B and C items complying by a special case of the Kanban method, the two bin system. To implement such a system, healthcare employees must undergo training of inventory management principles. This educational training is a major component that allows employees to effectively sustain the inventory management system, as well as reproduce it across other residences on their campus. The purpose of this thesis was to develop an inventory management system for a small healthcare facility that is sustainable and transferrable.