Healthcare inventory management, sometimes referred to as supply chain management (SCM), plays a vital role in monitoring stock correctly within hospitals and healthcare facilities. The lack of an efficient system can affect daily operations and have a significant impact on, not just a department, but also staff, patients and other on-site facilities.
The main concern for healthcare staff is the wellbeing of their patients. Today, staff across various departments juggle tasks while having to ensure correct practices are carried out and standards are met. Inventory management is often forgotten about or not considered as much as it should be, as departments face bigger issues like budget cuts, understaffing and customer demands. However, with the vast amount of specialised equipment, medication and supplies used daily to provide care to patients, inventory management should not be disregarded.
The Effectiveness of an Inventory Management System
Easily track expiry dates- Medication often has a short shelf life and needs to be disposed of safely. With an inventory management system in place, expiry dates can be tracked easily at any time to ensure patients are not being given out of date medication. This also allows for the products that are due to expire the soonest, to be issued first, reducing unnecessary wastage and costs.
Prevent loss and shortages- Without an inventory management system, it is common for equipment and supplies to go missing and often difficult to track them down again. Searching for these things can waste the time of staff and potentially put patients’ health at risk, therefore it is essential for a suitable system to be in place to prevent this.
Cut costs- Adopting an inventory management system can be cost effective in many ways. Real-time tracking ensures there is always sufficient stock levels and prevents overstocking and wastage. Having an automated system also means less staffing is required, saving money.
Reduce inaccuracies- Often in hospital departments where stock management is carried out manually by staff, human errors occur. Having an automated system enables accurate real time asset tracking and reduces the chances of mistakes and inaccuracies.
Increase visibility- Stock can be tracked at any time and the exact location of a product can easily be found when appropriate inventory management is used, increasing the visibility of all equipment, medication and supplies.
Improve patient experience and staff morale- Well managed stock will give patients a sense of reassurance and have a positive impact on their experience. Reducing the number of strenuous tasks for staff and implementing an efficient solution, will release some pressure from them and help to create a better work environment.
With a suitable automated inventory management software in place, hospital departments and healthcare facilities can streamline their processes and provide easily manageable stockrooms for staff. This would ensure inventory management tasks do not eat into valuable time that staff could be spending with patients, enabling them to provide the best care possible.
Find out about our healthcare inventory management solution here: Stock management control for medical & dental products (kmsoft.co.uk)