June 28, 2013

Knowing Where It Is And Where It Has To Go

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Simply amazing. That's what you think when you walk away from the medical supply storage area of our Clinical Logistics Manager Troy Miller. Every piece of medical equipment, down to the smallest swab or wipe is in its place. It has to be so that on a moment's notice, it can be sent to one of our air ambulances in the field. 

Miller not only keeps track of the supply inventory, he must know where every one of our air ambulance jets are positioned and keep track of their flight plan so he doesn't send a package of supplies to the wrong destination. Miller has to be skilled in all aspects of procurement, material handling, packaging, transportation, warehousing and the security of medical supplies and equipment.

Miller says there are probably close to 400 types of medical equipment in his supply room that are carried on our aircraft. "I have to make sure that I have enough supplies here to be able to stock all of our medical bag sets."  He even makes sure he has enough supplies to restock all of our aircraft if they all went empty at one time.

As for the medical bags that go on our jets, they are all identically configured. And Miller has a schematic which shows what goes into each compartment of that medical bag. Each medical crew gets seven bags of equipment and supplies for a medical flight. "And every single bag has the exact same thing in every single spot," says Miller.  Included are electronic medical equipment and every piece of disposable medical supply, which includes medications.

Miller has a series of shelves where he's arranged all the supplies that go into one medical flight. All the items that have to be charged are on their own shelf and plugged into a series of electrical outlets. Monitors, suction units, IV infusion pumps and even the iPads and Bose headsets for the patients and their family members are getting powered up.

Another shelf has the ventilator bag, the primary medical bag, a secondary bag and a medication bag plus a  computer bag. The cardiac monitor gets its own bag. It looks to this observer to be an overwhelming task to keep track of all this equipment and make sure it gets in the hands of our medical flight crews. But Miller has it down to a science.

The most challenging part of Miller's job is keeping track of where our flight crews are and making sure they have the necessary supplies. This Phoenix air ambulance company's base of operations is where we land. Our aircraft rarely come back to our hangar in Scottsdale. If they did return regularly, Miller's job would be a lot easier. He'd just restock them as they came in. But in Miller's world, the opposite holds true. He sends the supplies and equipment out to the aircraft. And these are aircraft that are sometimes on the ground for a short time, meaning Miller must  anticipate and send the supplies on ahead to where the air ambulance is to land next.

Miller admits he's a bit OCD and likes everything in its place. He says it runs in the family as his father and uncle built race cars and motorcycles  and the garage had every bolt, every engine part, you name it, tucked away neatly. You ask Miller where something is in his storage area, he points to it in seconds. If he's out of the office, he knows in his head where the item is in case he has to tell someone else to retrieve it.  

Paying attention to details. Miller does it and this exemplifies the attention to detail patients can expect when they choose Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance for their medical flight.

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