Improving Inventory Management in Hospitals

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The ability to reduce costs, improve business operations and improve quality by improving supply chain processes has reached legendary proportions in healthcare. And, huge improvements have been achieved in the last decade. For example, 10 years ago, very little business was being conducted electronically; smart mobile devices tracking patient, procedure and product information on the hospital floor were unheard of; disparate systems stood as lone silos, and not a lot of expertise existed for either sharing or reconciling data among them. Cloud-based services, while in use, weren’t recognized as the path to the future of understanding data in healthcare organizations.

Today, with better supply chain experience under our belts and a willingness to embrace best practices, well-established hospitals still see a widening gap between costs and revenue. With all of these improvements, where are the savings? Why aren’t we seeing them on the bottom line?

There are ways improve cost savings through better inventory management in hospitals, streamlined business processes to reduce labor expenses, and most importantly, drive hard dollar savings by managing inventory in the most effective manner possible. In fact, Jump Technologies recently created a white paper that examines this topic in more detail (you’ll find it in the Resource Center of our website). Included in the paper is a list of "10 Steps to Improve Inventory Management and Reduce Cost."  Here’s a quick summary of the list – the complete list can be found in the white paper: Better inventory management is a great opportunity to reduce costs in hospitals, while increasing clinical team satisfaction.  For more detail, click through to our resource center and take a look at the full white paper.

  • Identify what level of inventory / supply is needed to sustain clinical operations.
  • Understand the business and clinical processes in a given area – inventory systems are not “one-size-fits-all.”
  • Work across finance, nursing and supply chain leaders to determine how your organization will handle product charges.
  • Look for opportunities to improve your culture and form strong partnerships between supply chain and nursing.
  • Implement processes and technology that give supply chain visibility to every area of the hospital. Consider best-of-breed inventory management solutions that enhance your ERP or materials management system capabilities.
  • Start with a clean slate. Remove expired inventory from your supply areas and work with finance to manage the write-off of these items.
  • Create an environment that supports performance monitoring, and set and measure realistic goals.
  • Inventory management is not a one-time activity. Monitor supply usage on an ongoing basis.
  • Work through your excess inventories. They represent the biggest and best opportunity for inventory reduction to newly established levels.
  • Close the loop on your internal communication processes. 

Better inventory management is a great opportunity to reduce costs in hospitals, while increasing clinical team satisfaction.  For more detail, click through to our resource center and take a look at the full white paper.