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The Supply Chain Bottleneck at U.S. Ports

The Supply Chain Bottleneck at U.S. Ports

When the new mega-size container ship “Benjamin Franklin” docked in the Ports of Los Angeles in late 2015, it marked the beginning of a new shipping era. The ship can carry 18,000 containers. Placed end to end, the containers would reach from Baltimore to Philadelphia, a distance of nearly 100 miles. That’s a lot of containers!

And that number of containers has logistics experts worried. Their concern: The land-side infrastructure of ports on the US west coast cannot handle such a large influx of containers at one time. Trucks will not be able to get in and out of the ports quickly enough to move all those containers off the docks and make room for the next ship waiting its turn to unload, says Jared Vineyard, blogging for Universal Cargo.

This congestion starts a domino effect that is felt all the way down the supply chain – transportation delays increase, warehouses aren’t restocked on time, and retailers will feel the squeeze. Despite the increased shipping capacity, American shoppers may actually experience shortages of their favorite consumer goods. To keep retail shelves stocked, wholesalers and warehouse managers should be looking at ways to increase their own storage capacity ahead of the bottleneck that could be building at the seaports.


Photo © Jochen Binikowski–

RFID: First Aid for Healthcare “Never Events”

RFID: First Aid for Healthcare “Never Events”

“Never event” is the term for a surgical error that should never, ever occur, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside a patient. Hospitals have worked steadily to reduce such devastating mistakes, but surgeons, the rock stars of medicine, have been notoriously resistant to changing their practices. Now a number of hospitals are using new surgical safety protocols – data-intensive patient briefings and checklists – to improve outcomes and rein in surgeons’ intimidating behavior.

Added to these new protocols is the innovative use of RFID tags to track surgical implements in the OR. At Houston’s Memorial Hermann Health System, surgery patients are RF-scanned before closing to make sure no stray sponges have been left in the incision. The Wall Street Journal reports on this trend, and lists national statistics of surgical errors: As RFID becomes a common part of surgical protocols, we can expect ORs to become increasingly immune to errors of this type.


Photo © Minerva Studio – Fotolia

5 Tips to Treat Your Books Better

5 Tips to Treat Your Books Better

Got books? Maybe you’re a collector, maybe you’re a librarian, but no matter how or why you acquire books, you should know there’s a right way, and a wrong way, to shelve and handle them to keep them in perfect reading condition.

The Library of Congress offers these recommendations:

  • Clean hands, always!
  • Keep books upright, or lying flat; leaning them to one side will eventually break the spine.
  • Remove books from a shelf by gripping the spine on both sides, at the middle of the book; over time, pulling at the top of the spine damages the binding.
  • Keep books away from direct sunlight, heating/cooling vents, and high humidity; don’t forget to dust them, too.
  • Shelve books of similar size together; the covers of neighboring books will help support each other.

The LOC has additional advice on restoration and preservation on its website: Your storage professionals here at National Office Systems can also provide proper shelving and storage information.


Photo © donatas1205/Fotolia

Hospital Design – Can Beauty Help Heal?

Hospital Design – Can Beauty Help Heal?

If you’ve ever been hospitalized, perhaps you noticed how a cheerful paint color or a bouquet of flowers brightened up the room’s sterile design. Now researchers studying psychoneuroimmunology – the connection between mental and physical health – are finding that pleasant surroundings are an essential part of the health care and healing process. Architects and interior designers are taking heed of these findings and doing much more than adding flowers to the designs of new hospitals.

Color, light, and sound are all being considered as part of the healing design, particularly in elements affecting social support. Gardens and indoor “malls” provide areas where patients and families can congregate outside of treatment areas. Attractive, comfortable seating encourages interactions. In-room overnight accommodations for family or friends give patients a feeling of support and positivity.

With this mind-body healing synergy in mind, Healthcare Business & Technology has compiled a list of the 25 most beautiful hospitals in the world. If you have to be in the hospital, why not be surrounded by beauty?


Photo © PhotoSerg/Fotolia