Better care through automation

Our lives get more automated every day. Online shopping sites sell us subscriptions that guarantee household necessities show up on our doorsteps when we need them. Internet-connected thermostats ensure our homes are the perfect temperature when we get home. Even our cars are inching closer to driving themselves. So why, then, do so many hospitals and health care systems continue to manage inventory manually?

Manual inventory methods are inefficient and imprecise. When hospitals rely on paper records and manual reordering in their supply chain, they increase the likelihood of misplaced supplies and inconsistent inventory levels. That can result in waste (an estimated $765 billion a year according to the National Academy of Medicine), stock-outs, and hoarding by nurses who lack confidence that the supplies they need will be there when they need them. Because hospitals using manual methods often overorder to ensure they have enough supplies on the shelf, they also open the door to infections caused by expired supplies being used on patients.

Meeker Memorial Hospital approached Jump Technologies because the Minnesota hospital realized its manual methods — paired with a health information system that focused more on billing than inventory management — were no longer getting the job done. The hospital had developed workarounds over the years, but wanted a more modern, automated solution.

With JumpStock, they found a solution that was intuitive, flexible, and easy to use. Once PAR levels were set, the system managed ordering automatically. JumpStock provided visibility into inventory levels at any time, not just when staff had completed its annual physical inventory. It also gave the hospital a clear picture of the supplies they actually use, allowing supply chain employees to make adjustments to its PAR levels.

The hospital saw a difference quickly. With JumpStock implemented only in Meeker Memorial’s central supply location, the hospital reduced its on-hand inventory by 15 percent. With implementation planned in the hospital’s lab and surgical areas, there is potential for even greater savings.

At Meeker Memorial, staff uses familiar handheld devices to scan products as they are used. Most of the heavy lifting takes place behind the scenes. Joining the modern world is as easy as that.

Read more about how Meeker Memorial is using automation to its advantage.