Hospital Inventory Management – Three Best Practices To Adopt

Hospitals and health care facilities are under a constant overload of operating expense and overheads. Providing high quality services and treatments to clients is a must for them as an enterprise. The life of their patients depends upon their performance and any mistake here is just not acceptable. On the other hand, offering high quality healthcare facilities is not a low cost affair. Maintenance of hygiene and sterility, high tech medical equipment and treatments, hiring the best doctors and professionals in the industry- all of this add up to millions of dollars worth of costs and overheads for the hospital to bear. And the single biggest contributing factor to these costs happens to be inventory.

Supply chain is actually the second biggest cost factor to manage for any healthcare service provider, labour costs being the first. It is also an extremely complex system to manage and control, with many open ended aspects to look at and many different variables that can cause the system to fail. Hospital inventory management is a complicated function to handle for the administration department, and they need all the help they can get to ensure things run smoothly.

Rising costs and declining reimbursements are now ushering hospitals to look for new and improved means to augment profitability and manage costs. Scholars of hospital inventory management systems advocate the use of specific best practices to adopt that can help any healthcare institute in keeping these expenses under check. Here are three of the most important industry standards in this regard.

#Contract price visibility and accuracy

Management of prices, for both on and off contract purchasing, is an important aspect for any hospital. Principles of sound hospital inventory management dictate identification of frequently bough products and their prices, off-contract transactions of the hospital, similar products that can be grouped in existing or future contract purchases and supplier partnerships that can cater to these needs in an on-contract format. Many standalone purchase prices can be brought down drastically as a result of these alliances.

#Managing demands and forecasts

Hospital inventory management functions also call for making accurate assumptions about future requirements in the organisation and procuring the products at correct prices. Today, most service providers have little visibility into the millions of dollars of product out in the field and it is better to have an accurate road map in place to ensure that they are aware of all the avenues where the money will be going. This helps in keeping budget overruns in check and managing stock flows.

#Data accuracy and inventory registers

This is the last and final practice to look into. The most important function of hospital inventory management happens to be monitoring usage and keeping misuse under check. This calls for maintaining accurate and real time data repositories with shared information of all aspects related to the stock flows in the organisation. Keeping track of what the organisation needs and what it has is important for keeping resource wastage in check.

About The Author

Tamara Williams has been working in the healthcare industry since many years, helping hospitals in streamlining their stock management through medical inventory software. She has written many interesting articles and blogs on the topic, with informative guides and tips to bring healthcare inventory management systems up to the mark. If you wish to know more about hospital inventory management systems, be sure to visit