Welcome to AHRMM's health care supply chain Lexicon. This database contains terms used throughout the health care supply chain field. Simply click on the link to access the entire definition.

AHRMM thanks Kate Vitasek and Supply Chain Visions for their contribution of certain terms to the Lexicon. Terms supplied by Supply Chain Visions are used with permission. Supply Chain Vision’s Glossary of Supply Chain Management Terms appears on the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals website. AHRMM also acknowledges Michael B. Neely with Perimeter Solutions Group for his role in developing health care-specific terms.

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  • Kaizen

    Taken from the Japanese words kai and zen, where kai means change and zen means good. The popular meaning is continual improvement of all areas of a company not just quality. A business philosophy of continuous cost reduction, reduce quality problems, and delivery time reduction through rapid, team-based improvement activity. Also see: Continuous Process Improvement
  • Kaizen Blitz

    A Kaizen Blitz, or rapid improvement, is a focused activity on a particular process or activity. The basic concept is to identify and quickly remove waste.
  • Kanban

    Japanese word for "visible record", loosely translated means card, billboard or sign. Popularized by Toyota Corporation, it uses standard containers or lot sizes to deliver needed parts to assembly line "just in time" for use. Empty containers are then returned to the source as a signal to resupply the associated parts in the specified quantity.
  • Kanban

    Japanese word for "visible record", loosely translated means card, billboard or sign. Typically used in the healthcare setting for 2 bin inventory locations where supplies are replenished when one bin is empty and resupply is at the specified quantity.
  • KD

    See Knock-Down
  • Keiretsu

    A set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. It is a type of business group with a common set of objectives similar to a consortium.
  • Key Custodians

    The persons, assigned by the security administrators of trading partners, that send or receive a component of either the master key or exchange key used to encrypt data encryption keys. This control technique involves dual control, with split knowledge that requires two key custodians