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Hospital Inventory Management – Best Practices Should Be Followed

Jan 29th 2015 at 1:50 AM

When you look at the working of a hospital, you will find that almost every function is dependent upon the smooth flow of its supply chain. The importance of hospital inventory management can never be emphasized enough. From the simplest of treatments to the biggest surgeries, doctors cannot manage to administer any procedure without the help and support of the hospital inventory team. Then there are the issues of unauthorised use of drugs that need to be curtailed. And finally, as well all know, drugs and medical equipment have an expiration date and therefore need to be used within that stipulated timeframe. Unmanaged inventories can actually cause immense losses to the healthcare center. This is why every hospital management should make sure that they take the necessary steps to get this supply chain under control and take up the matter of its professional and proper management seriously.

When it comes to hospital inventory management, there are certain best practices that you must adopt in your health care institute to avoid any hiccups with the smooth flow of your supply chain. Here are the basics you should be looking at.

Policy Setting

Your goals and procedures with regards to hospital inventory management should be clearly defined and laid out in front of your staff and managerial personnel. Having a clear cut standard to follow generates transparency as well as ensures that the entire organisation is aware of the method they have to follow. You need to eliminate the “Just in Case” inventory management approach and replace it with a statistically driven proactive approach to set appropriate inventory levels.

Performance Monitoring

This is another aspect that is generally ignored by the administration of most hospitals. Simply setting standards and fixing up procedures will not be enough. You will need to measure the difference that these policies are creating and ensure that the entire function is able to generate some profitability or work efficiency for the organisation. That is the whole point of the entire exercise. You need to perform a periodic analysis of inventory to create continuous improvement environment and measure inventory performance using key performance indicators.

Change management

This is one of the biggest hurdles faced in the process of streamlining hospital supply chains. Especially with bigger organisations, the administration department has to put up with a stiff opposition from various sections of the institute as people are simply used to following a certain system of management and are not open to change in current practices. Every hospital inventory management exercise should take these aspects into account before finalising on their future strategy.

Use the right technology

There are many ways in which the goals of supply chain management in health care centers can be obtained. But technology can create a world of a difference in your endeavours. Make sure you do your research well and utilise the best hospital inventory management software for your needs.

If you wish to know more about hospital inventory management systems, be sure to visit

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. If you wish to know more about hospital inventory management systems, be sure to visit

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