How paper clips led to a hospital best practice


I recently read how the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Paul Levy, found a creative solution to a long-time pet peeve.  After years of watching office supplies breed like rabbits – in every place he’d worked and many others visited – Paul set up a swap shop to help control overstocking and costs. 

A couple of tables outside his office are filled with paper clips, binders, notepads, pens and more.  A sign reads: “Take what you need, leave what you don’t.”  And it’s working.  Trading has become feverish over some items and most everything is moving.

It’s free, engages employees, saves money and encourages fiscal responsibility on levels far beyond post-it notes.  Brilliant. 

Even better, the idea adds to the virtual swap shop of healthcare best practices.  Insight from a blog, tips from a magazine, a hint from a peer at another organization – take one, leave one.

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One Response to “How paper clips led to a hospital best practice”

  1. martinezcreative Says:

    Sounds like prison. Swapping yellow legal size notepads for a pack of smokes with the Aryan Brotherhood, a la Oz.

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