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Carlos Lourenco, director, Materials Management and Logistics (center), helped lead tours of YNHHS’ Regional Operations Center during a Sept. 10 open house. With ample storage space at the ROC, the health system can order items such as beds in bulk, which saves money. 

Visitors learn why YNHHS’ ROC is way more than a warehouse 

Most of the staff at Yale New Haven’s Regional Operations Center never see a patient, but their work is essential to providing safe, high-quality patient care.
 
During a Sept. 10 open house, nearly 200 visitors from throughout the health system saw why, as they toured the 165,000-square-foot facility in West Haven.
 
Opened in 2020, the Regional Operations Center (ROC) houses some major health system functions and serves as a central distribution point for supplies and equipment for YNHHS hospitals and facilities throughout the region. YNHHS’ Corporate Supply Chain department oversees the ROC.
 
“By centralizing supplies and services, we’ve been able to create a crucial hub that helps our health system operate more efficiently,” said YNHHS President Christopher O’Connor.
 
Materials Management staff handle certain supplies at the ROC, receiving, logging, storing and ultimately redistributing them to YNHHS facilities throughout the region. Department staff at the ROC also handle supplies recalled by manufacturers. 
 
Most of the medical and surgical supplies for the health system are handled by YNHHS’ partner vendor, Medline, a medical supply distributor and manufacturer that occupies 67,000 square feet of the ROC. 
 
“By contracting with Medline as our primary vendor, we can get supplies quickly,” said Carlos Lourenco, director, Materials Management and Logistics. “With the Medline facility at the ROC, we’re not competing with other healthcare organizations for these supplies.” 
 
The ROC is also home to some YNHHS Clinical Engineering staff, who inspect and test equipment before deploying it throughout the health system. Information Technology Services staff at the ROC have similar roles, preparing a wide variety of devices for use in patient care and other functions. 
 
Each year, over 14 million pounds of clean linen is shipped to the ROC, where staff separate it and stock carts that are trucked to YNHHS facilities.
 
An area of the ROC currently under construction will house “clean rooms” where Pharmacy staff can compound (mix) certain intravenous medications, including chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics.
 
These compounding facilities, scheduled to open next year, will allow YNHHS to expand home infusion services for patients.  
 
One of the most important resources the ROC provides is space, which frees up valuable square footage in YNHHS hospitals and other clinical facilities. Lourenco noted that 1,500 square feet at Bridgeport Hospital previously used for supplies is now used by YNHHS’ Simulation Center for training.
 
During the open house, visitors learned about the ROC’s vital role during COVID, which included housing more than 2.5 million donated items. ITS and other staff used ROC space to assemble thousands of telehealth carts; and Pharmacy staff manufactured hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes there. Most recently, the ROC has supported YNHHS’ community vaccination efforts. 
 
“COVID-19 has been a very important part of the birth of the ROC,” Lourenco said.
 
Learn more about the ROC, including its role during the pandemic, in the video “Welcome to the ROC.”