Inventory Management in the healthcare industry is the area of research on efficiently managing inventory acting as pre-requisite for many planning and decision–making processes in the systems of the industry.
Inventory Management in the healthcare industry should first and foremost focus on patient care and satisfaction with assurance of availability of a large number of high-quality inventories and regularly changing the environment.
We will discuss here, in this article, the broad classification of inventory problems, but with their solutions and scope of improvement.
Asset Tracking: To Streamline Inventory Management
Hospitals usually fall under the category that first, inefficiently manage supplies and second, spend too much time on inventory.
The hospitals are forced to do inventory management in a time-consuming manner which involves manual processes that are inefficient and multiplies human errors.
The hospitals need to streamline their inventory management and simultaneously automate the supply and medication distribution. For this, the hospital needs to implement the best practices in hospital supply management system so that, inventory management tasks can be streamlined thoroughly.
Implementing a good software system will improve staff efficiency, reduce inventory supply costs, and improve the bottom line.
The main features to implement over is a good hospital supply management system, automated inventory management system, and using asset tags for efficient check-in and check-out of medical instruments.
Matter of Concern:
Today, the healthcare industry uses a variety of specialized equipment, materials and medications to treat their patients whether it is clinics, labs, family practitioners or the hospitals.
The matter of concern which appears here is the storage and organization of the medical supplies for which efficient inventory management system is important.
For instance, if inventory is not tracked properly it will not only impact organizational operations but will take extra time from the staff to find the inventory. And this could cause risk to life in certain cases.
Anyhow hospitals constantly deal with increased costs, customer demands; understaffing and among these inventory management is least considered.
However, there are a few important reasons, why the healthcare industry should acquire an inventory management system.
A System with every Solution:
A healthcare organization will need a technological solution that will not only improve equipment utilization but also streamline inventory management.
1. Improves patient experience:
Effectively managed assets and equipment will create a positive image for the patients as well as for the hospital.
2. Track of Medication:
Medication is calculated under the perishable items (likely to decay or go bad quickly). Therefore, the medication and blood bank inventory needs to be tracked regularly to avoid their expiration followed by resultant waste.
3. Increased Visibility:
As a result of proper tracking and management of medical utensils and devices in a healthcare organization, the visibility of the equipment and other stuff will increase, as they will be found whenever needed. Therefore, the location of important equipment can be immediately tracked.
4. Availability of Equipment:
Doctors, as well as other healthcare providers, have to deal with emergencies daily. Therefore, availability of the equipment is necessary and that too on time, which implies to have proper equipment available in all crucial time.
5. Short Healthcare Workflow:
Managing the inventory manually, making their routines physically, and reconciling of medical equipment on-hand take
6. Track of Inventory Level:
It is critical to keep accurate and real-time data with equipment, supplies, medication, and restocking when it is related to the patient’s treatment.
In such circumstances, healthcare organizations cannot take the risk of missing or less inventory especially when the doctors are dealing with critical health issues.
The inventory management system should have the important feature of alerts and notifications, whenever the inventory falls below or above the pre-configured level.
7. Execute the Supply Management System:
A supply management system assists hospitals to reduce the spending and in keeping the budget in structure. It will involve obtaining of resources, management of supplies, delivering of goods, and potential service to provider and patients.
The supply chain is often considered difficult as it is fragmented but actually because it has various stakeholders who have their own goals to achieve example, the staff suggest and demand for some equipment and the management instead purchase most affordable and high-quality product.
Therefore, implementing good supply management for your hospital is a must.
8. Automated Inventory Management:
The healthcare organization should adopt an automated inventory management system for tracking and tracing inventory which is used in the hospital on a daily basis.
So, nurses and doctors scan the barcode tags with scanning devices or smartphones to store the required data which is simultaneously transferred to the system through an automated management system for ensuring accurate reporting.
9. Asset Tags for Chech-in and Check-out:
Asset tags are used to increase the efficiency of an automated inventory management system. Through the system, you can assign labels to the equipment with barcodes embedded with a unique identification number for each item.
Tagging of medical equipment is important for their usage and to enable their quick check-in and check-out, to help out healthcare providers.
Asset tags with barcode labels help to reduce inventory costs and enhance staff efficiency and productivity through streamlined check-in and check-out processes.
10. Investment Protection:
As almost all the healthcare organizations have invested in heavy and costly equipment to meet the demands of the patients. There is always a need of regular maintenance of this equipment for their long-term functionality and endurance.
Therefore, Asset Tracking Solution should have a feature that would track maintenance events and also shouldn’t miss any scheduled maintenance.
The best is when Healthcare organizations successfully maintain accurate stock levels of supplies and equipment whenever needed so that patients won’t suffer from neglected health services.
Otherwise, without inventory control, no one can keep accurate and real-time data of supplies and equipment which have depleted and are needed to be re-ordered.
Inventory management is also important to monitor perishable items i.e. medication.