3 tips to effective inventory management for health care facilities

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Cutting costs in hospital inventory management is always a point of emphasis for financial decision-makers at health care institutions. However, it takes strong planning and even better execution to ensure supply chain costs remain low amidst potential disruptions and unexpected events that can throw things out of whack. Below are three tips administrators can use to maintain a lean supply chain and make inventory management a strength of the institution:

Collaborate with physicians
Understanding the personal preferences of physicians is extremely important for supply chain managers at hospitals. Even though new medical devices come out every year, doctors and nurses prefer certain instruments that allow them to be as productive as possible. Supply chain managers should push to create a team of physicians who can speak for everyone else at the facility and provide insight into what they need to properly care for patients and other items that are sitting in storage for months on end, according to an article for Healthcare Global. Getting real-time feedback from doctors can ensure that supply chain managers get the necessary devices to maintain appropriate inventory levels.

Invest in the right tools
Supply chain managers who are able to effectively keep track of their files, stay updated on contract pricing and validate prices against purchase orders usually have access to the right technologies. Cloud-based inventory management solutions allow hospitals to quickly see a return on investment because they don't need to purchase expensive hardware and the technology doesn't require a lot of training to use. Supply chain managers who use the cloud to manage their inventory will have greater visibility into what items need to be ordered to ensure physicians have a strong supply of what they need.

Reduce insignificant costs
Items that aren't vital can usually be eliminated to create a more streamlined supply chain. The Healthcare Global article stated that another way to cut costs is to replace devices and equipment from expensive name brands with items from more generic companies that have lower prices. These cost reductions could give supply chain managers more money to spend on other items that are more important for physicians. Using cloud-based software can usually provide these insights and help financial decision-makers save money on items are more expensive than those of other options.