Inventory services is about much more than conducting accurate inventory counts
A healthy supply chain starts with an accurate inventory. It’s why so many hospitals rely on us to provide point-in-time inventory for year-end, mid-year, and baseline reporting. In the last decade alone, we have conducted nearly 8,000 inventory counts, totaling almost $13 billion in inventory.
Typically, hospitals ask us to conduct counts annually. What many hospitals don’t realize, however, is that we can provide many other valuable services while we are there on-site. Here are just a few examples:
Identifying opportunities to improve efficiency
Since we have conducted thousands of counts at hospitals across the country, we’ve seen the best, and less than the best, when it comes to inventory management. One of our biggest takeaways? Hospitals that have a highly organized inventory operate more efficiently.
When staff members know exactly where a supply is, how much of it they have, and when they need to order more, they don’t waste time searching for supplies or waiting for new supplies to come in.
That’s why, whenever we are counting inventory, we watch closely for organization-related problems. Recently, at one East Coast facility, we noticed that a large amount of inventory had been placed in the wrong area. We carefully logged that product and flagged it with hospital staff members, who quickly retrieved it and brought it to the correct location.
Catching internal errors
Despite hospitals’ best intentions, inventory problems often arise. Our vast experience means that whenever we go into hospitals for inventory services, we know exactly what red flags to watch for that could indicate larger problems.
Recently, at one East Coast facility, we found that some of the RFID tags on products had incorrect expiration dates. Because the RFID tags were incorrect, the expired items remained on the shelf. We notified staff and assisted with pulling the expired products.
Helping hospitals navigate systemwide changes
We know how challenging it can be for hospitals to keep up with mounting industry demands to improve quality and reduce costs—while at the same time navigating necessary internal changes.
We saw this challenge firsthand at one multi-location healthcare system on the West Coast that was transitioning to a new EHR. To help, while we were counting inventory, we also captured barcode data for all product—including consigned product—at all of their locations in each unit of measure. This highly-detailed and accurate information supported their EHR planning and implementation process.
Benefits Beyond Accurate Counts
The above examples, and others we’ve shared in previous blogs, reveal how inventory services can help reduce supply chain waste, improve patient safety, and lead to significant savings.
Next time you need inventory services, let us know what your biggest pain points are. We’re standing by to help.
Coronavirus: The Link Between Inventory Optimization and Outbreak Preparedness
As hospitals across the country prepare for Coronavirus, many report concerns that they will not have enough protective gear, such as face masks, for their clinicians. Hospitals with a highly organized inventory are one step ahead of the rest. They know exactly how much they have on hand and where it is stored, so they don’t waste time searching for supplies or counting them once they do find them.