An inventory management and tracking system can help health care organizations in many ways. The ultimate benefit is that the patient experiences better customer service and quality of care. Furthermore, inventory management will reduce labor and inventory costs while increasing organizational efficiency. However, properly managing the inventory system can be difficult. Continue reading to learn how to adapt your medical inventory system to suit your unique practice’s needs.
Create a Strategy
Health care management should create an inventory management strategy. The first goal should be to maintain real time inventory levels. As part of this, supply levels should be automatically maintained to prevent product shortages. Maintaining a controlled system with organization wide procedures will reduce errors, increase efficiency and optimize operations. Regular inventory checks should be incorporated to ensure accuracy. Keep in mind that medical inventory management isn’t just about logistics because vital medical supplies can mean the difference between life and death.
Understand the Inventory Cycle
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inventory systems can be broken down into operation sequences that should form a seamless cycle. Health care management should understand that each sequence has its own peculiar problems. For example, the cycle begins with the order request, but sometimes gets bogged down through the bureaucratic request approval process. Failure to document receipt of an inventory product and storing the product in the wrong place creates delays and confusion. Most importantly, health care professionals are often in a hurry to get supplies in order to meet the needs of their patients. On the other hand, other departments may suddenly need to borrow supplies and fail to properly document this. As a result, inventory levels are often inaccurate. Therefore, there should be solid inventory procedures and all health care employees should be held accountable to these standards.
Use Medical Management Inventory Software
Many health care organizations still rely on old-fashioned methods of managing their medical inventory. This may involve manually determining each item’s buying cycle, using handwritten tags on items and requiring staff to physically drop a tag into the reorder envelope each time they use an item. However, medical inventory software is far superior to traditional methods. For example, inventory management software will optimize inventory levels, track expiration dates, eliminate overstocking and create supply chain transparency. That is, suppliers will be able to work directly with the organization to maintain proper inventory levels. In addition to this, the software programs can also create invoices and provide useful administration tools, such as customized reports and data analysis. In the end, they will improve the health care organization’s structured effectiveness.
As a final point, every competent health care organization depends on a well-organized inventory management system. You can meet your inventory needs through creating a strategy, understanding the inventory cycle and using medical management inventory software.