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How To Fix 5 Common Inventory Management Issues In The Health Care Industry

Health centers worldwide are experiencing the issue of short-staffing, increased costs, unpredictable customer demand, and intricate payment methods. To combat these vast issues, most healthcare centers are now opting for inventory management system software. 

This is because the healthcare industry involves a lot of sensitive information along with specialized equipment that needs to be handled with a lot of care. Tampering with medical equipment can endanger the lives of the patients and thus the need to ensure they are controlled by authorized persons only. 

In this regard, poor inventory management practices have a notable adverse effect on the working of a healthcare center as staff end up spending unreasonable time locating, finding, and organizing inventory.

Let’s look at the common inventory management concerns in the health care industry and how to fix them.

Security

Security is a concern with most hospital inventories. Drugs and chemicals can disappear, and at times, sensitive items can land on the wrong hands. Such matters can pose sizeable safety and legal debates for a healthcare center. According to JD Edwards Consulting, healthcare centers can battle such issues by embarking on stock security systems to keep their inventories free from theft or tampering. 

This typically entails a set of surveillance cameras, inventory barcodes, devices, and security personnel to ward off unauthorized access. Staff training is a necessity. Staff should be educated about the repercussions of the security breach, whether it’s by themselves or under their surveillance. This will allow them to understand the need to stay vigilant. 

Likewise, staff should not have full access to the inventory. A stern logging system and an inventory gatekeeper can make it easy to hold staff accountable.

Temperature and Age Sensitive Products

Various chemicals and medicines have a short lifespan. Others are vulnerable to damage as a result of changes in temperature. Consequently, medical healthcare centers face the challenge of safeguarding sensitive inventory and ensure the items are kept in reasonable condition to avoid expiration. 

Cluttered facilities can lead to misuse of resources if the stock is not tracked correctly. To minimize wastage, stockpiling, and expired products, try to enhance your inventory visibility as well as labeling. 

All the items should be accessed from the inventory management system. Proper inventory labeling is necessary to help the staff to detect any irregularities. 

Color-coded labeling is intended to help staff retrieving items to spot their age quickly, and similar markings can notify the team about the temperature requirements so that inventory temperature is maintained at the recommended levels.

Unpredictable Demand

Fluctuations in inventory are inevitable. In a hospital set up, they are even more noticeable. Contagious diseases can arise at any given time leading to emergency response. This type of inventory management is essential in current times where the demand for cloth face masks spiked. 

As a result of this, healthcare centers often find themselves facing unanticipated inadequacies in supplies, or a chaotic situation could bar them from tracking insufficient amounts on short notice. The most appropriate way to face volatile demand is to mitigate its impact to start with. 

Failure to track available supplies can worsen the situation, especially if there is a growing demand for a particular item you’re trying to meet. Trace all your supplies and ensure everything is correctly labeled. 

Have a backup plan about where you can obtain additional supplies in the event of a shortage. Even though it might not solve the entire volatile demand, it will be of great help to some extent.

Intricate Patient Demands

Healthcare inventory management is the key to meeting complex patients’ needs. Patients demands are intricate and specific. These means healthcare hubs need to run a central location of inventory and declutter it for the benefit of the patients

It is worth noting that inventory management systems are a good way to oversee unmanageable and intricate inventory demands. Most systems are computerized and instinctive enough track inventories that span several facilities by keeping a record of where items can be found, quantity when their demand is high, and so on.

Errors

Previously health centers used to correct errors manually, but nowadays, things have changed with the advancement in technology. Most inventory management systems are automated, which means there is little to no manual work. 

An automated inventory management system has made it easy to eliminate errors without so much strain like the manual one.

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