Inventory management in healthcare facilities has always been considered as an ancillary function. It is perceived as an area of low value, and overlooked because of the critical and demanding needs of patients, which of course always takes first priority.
But poor inventory management is doing no good to combat patients’ health. In a typical healthcare facility, a nurse is at least interrupted twice in her shift to locate inventory for the operating room. The staff allocated for extending quality care to patients spend significant time in finding, tracking, ordering and forecasting inventory demand.
In these scenarios, a dedicated Inventory Management solution which can minimize the waste levels, errors in patient charts and billing, misquoted composition and orders, excess stock, poor par level management becomes inevitable. It helps organizations to streamline key business processes and restrict organizations from making investment without a clear visibility of the assets and equipments. This in turn boosts employee productivity, increases information accuracy, improves demand forecasting, streamlines supply chain management and fosters collaboration.
Thus, a powerful inventory management system can prove to be a game changer for healthcare organizations in many ways. Here are the top 6 ways how it can transform healthcare organizations:
1. Provides health system-wide visibility
A centralized system manages inventory among multiple associations across the continuum of care. It,
- Provides a clear visibility of inventory stored across IDNs
- Puts accurate and real-time information forward of the product, SKUs, counts and locations
- Gives key insights that help eliminating the risk of stock-outs
- Helps route management with proof of delivery throughout the enterprise
- Notifies of item utilized throughout the facility
- Minimizes the cost due to rush deliveries during emergencies
2. Maintains record of every penny associated to inventory
Inventory management comprise of multiple adjacent processes that are often excluded when the cost of inventory is calculated. A centralized system helps to maintain the record of,
- Inventory unit (medicines, equipment, etc.)
- Storing units
- Carrying units to different facilities
- Handling the paperwork
3. Intelligent demand forecasting and purchasing
Demand forecast is a very crucial aspect of inventory management. It can leave organizations stranded if they do not have accurate data and evidences to forecast supplies. A centralized system delivers several benefits by helping forecast demand and streamline purchasing.
4. Timely and accurate report generation
Timeliness, accuracy and clarity are keys to monitor inventory usage with relevant reports at every juncture. A tailored inventory management system according to a hospital’s workflow,
- Generates use, consumption, ordering and receiving reports
- Ensures timely tracking and documentation to reduce redundant data
- Provides accurate pricing data for case cost reports and auto-decrements supply chain
- Facilitates management reporting and notification procedures
5. Maximizes cash-flow
Cash flow is a vital aspect of financial management that saves healthcare organizations from crisis of liquidity. To govern this critical aspect, inventory management systems,
- Improve cash-to-cash cycle
- Increase inventory turns and accuracy
- Provide key information on usage and data tracking for patient billing and forecasting
- Reduce waste, stocks of expired products and restricts stockpiling and overbuying
- Minimize cost associated with emergency reorder, shipping, and the high cost low-volume during emergencies
6. Customization and ease-of-use
Inventory management system does not work on the principle of one size fits all. Different healthcare facilities have varied workflows introduced by organizations to achieve operational excellence. Considering this fact, customization occupies the center stage. A customized solution,
- Addresses the just-in-time need of the supply chain
- Maximizes the efficiency of caregivers
- Works as an extension of the already existing workflows
- Frees-up clinical staff from supply chain challenges to focus on patient care
- Fosters collaboration with staff-friendly features
- Promotes the ease of locating inventory anywhere on the floor or across other buildings
A modern IT solutions can automate conventional manual processes to establish better inventory control and provide real-time tracking and traceability data using RFIDs, UIDs, Bar codes, etc.
A well-thought-out solution not only integrates with already existing hospital systems, but also automates business-critical processes that reduce the cost of labor and frees hospital staff for focusing on better health outcomes.
Are you looking for developing one for your healthcare organization? Get in touch with us