An inventory management system is a tool used by hospital pharmacies to streamline their inventory and ordering processes. An effective inventory management system can help improve the accuracy of your orders, reduce costs, and improve the overall efficiency of your pharmacy.
In any hospital, the pharmacy is one of the most crucial departments. A well-stocked and managed pharmacy can mean the difference between life and death for patients. That’s why it’s so important for hospital pharmacies to have a good hospital inventory management system in place.
There are many techniques to improve inventory management and make the most out of your inventory. Keep reading to learn more about tips on inventory management for your hospital pharmacy!
Plan Ahead to Carry New Drugs
While maintaining existing medicines might be difficult enough, your hospital pharmacy must also find ways to carry effective medicines when they become available. More drugs are becoming available on the market, and many of these are sourced from suppliers other than your wholesaler. Because some may demand more information, your task may become more difficult as you must prepare distinct invoices, payments, shipments, and delivery deadlines.
To be capable of carrying new drugs, you’ll require a few things:
- A pharmacy leadership strategy plan: Leadership at your pharmacy should develop a deliberate plan with input from colleagues and other pharmacy industry experts.
- Make sure that you have the proper labor pool.
- Follow inventory best practices that provide significant clinical, cost-saving, and revenue-generating potential.
Don’t Forget On Labeling
We recommended keeping the most often used supplies in the most visible places. It is also beneficial to properly mark shelves and to constantly place new inventory at the end of the shelf to guarantee that the oldest goods get consumed first. These simple adjustments will allow your team to obtain necessary items faster and avoid items going bad due to expiration.
It is also critical for hospitals to choose a few, concentrated places for keeping inventory. If employees have to go a long distance to get a frequently used item, they may wind up building their own unauthorized, tiny storage sites, which can lead to inventory disorder and count inconsistencies.
Use Data to Lower Costs and Improve Care
Minimizing costs while providing better care might appear to be a difficult challenge at times. However, by utilizing data from your supply chain, you may make beneficial adjustments that will assist your hospital pharmacy in meeting both of those objectives at the same time.
Hospital pharmacies usually order the same amount of inventory as they have in the past. However, this might result in either an excess or a shortage on your shelves. You should turn to supply chain data within your automated systems to acquire that “just right” number. This information can tell you:
- Whether there is a lower demand for medicine.
- Whether a newer medication with superior clinical outcomes is available.
- Whether or if previous prescription habits have been modified.
- If your periodic automated replenishment (PAR) levels need to be changed.
Adopting Automated Hospital Inventory Management System
A busy hospital must have an automated inventory management system in place to simplify the hospital supply chain. These automated inventory management systems contain technology for tracking and tracing inventories and equipment utilized in a healthcare environment on a daily basis. To provide for accurate tracking and administration, they frequently use barcodes and RFID tags with unique identification numbers for each inventory item.
Nurses and physicians may use mobile scanners or devices to scan barcodes and trust that the data will be saved in the system; at the same time, automated data collection provides accurate reporting for charting and inventory reasons. Additionally, automated inventory management identifies commonly used medicines and equipment and anticipates probable shortages. Inventory managers have access to the data and may establish minimum inventory levels to automatically make orders for products before a shortage occurs. As a result of the adoption of automated inventory management, hospitals naturally adopt lean techniques, saving costs.
Help Your Staff Prioritize
Hospital pharmacy staff must realize how critical inventory control is to your bottom line. The more effective they are at assisting with inventory management, the more money you will save – which is excellent for them and the hospital! More importantly, keep in mind that their primary responsibility is to care for people.
Allow them to concentrate on their strengths by simplifying the inventory procedure as much as possible. Educate them on the cost of the things in your inventory so they realize the value of efficient inventory management, but don’t expect too much of them.
Complete Cycle Counts and Review Data
The major elements of your inventory should be cycle counted on a regular basis throughout the year in hospital pharmacies. Counts should be performed more frequently on items that move through the supply chain more quickly. These would comprise the largely consumable medical and surgical supplies.
We advise designating one person as a dedicated cycle counter for each department or unit. This will give them the chance to get to know your often purchased goods and get experience spotting and resolving typical inconsistencies. Use the information gathered from these frequent mini-audits to create reports, which you may then periodically check to spot patterns in product costs and consumption rates.
The importance of hospital pharmacy inventory management systems has increased significantly, as we have observed. It might be difficult to include an inventory system into a pharmacy’s entire workflow since it must be integrated at every step of the way. It must be able to collaborate with automated dispensing devices and keep track of supply and demand information for numerous medical supplies.
How can pharmacy management improve inventory?
Inventory management is an important area in any pharmacy facility. Pharmacy management can improve inventory by taking advantage of timely and accurate information.
Why is inventory control important in pharmacies?
Inventory control is the first step in the management process of a pharmacy. It determines the availability, accessibility, and reliability of drugs and medications.
What is hospital pharmacy management?
Hospital pharmacy management is the process of coordinating clinical care and providing pharmaceutical care services to hospital patients, whether the care is provided in the inpatient setting, the outpatient setting, or both.
What is the four importance of inventory management?
- It helps to prevent the inventory from reaching below the reorder point allowing service levels to be maintained.
- It helps to control costs by ensuring that the right product is ordered at the right time.
- It helps to enable the efficient purchasing of inventory so that the costs to the pharmacy are kept to a minimum.
- It helps to improve patient safety by ensuring that the right medicines are available at all times.
What makes a hospital pharmacy unique?
The hospital pharmacy is unique in that it is part of a system that touches every department in the hospital. The pharmacy staff is there to provide assistance to patients, the nursing staff, and physicians. Additionally, the respiratory therapy department, the dining staff, and even the housekeeping staff.