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Medical inventory management saves money, possibly lives

Medical inventory management saves money, possibly lives

Results of a survey released late last month tell what many healthcare providers already know. Improper inventory management is causing problems for patient care.

The Cardinal Health survey of surgical staff and hospital supply chain heads shows that the lack of adequate supplies has forced an estimated 40% of respondents to cancel a case whereas 69% said they’ve postponed a case. About 27% said they’ve seen or heard of expired products being used on a patient and 23% said they have seen a patient harmed to due to the lack of supplies.

The survey results suggest, and we agree, that a large part of this problem comes from what is evidenced in another statistic that stems from the survey: 83% of the respondents said their large clinic or hospital was still using manual counting as their method of inventory management whereas only about 15% use automated RFID systems, much like what you’d find in a big box retail environment.

Of those who use the automated systems, about 25% say that the automated process frees up time to spend on patients and 39% say it helps reduce costs, which also helps patients as the end user. Whether you use an RFID system or some other technical solution, it is obvious that the old ways of manual inventory management are not only antiquated, but affect patient care.

These statistics may seem startling, but ultimately are no surprise. Any industry that has inventory of any kind, be it retail or medical supplies, must use a proven, efficient supply chain, especially inventory management. This information helps these organizations better serve their customer and in the case of the medical industry, serving the customer could even mean saving lives.

Efficient and professional business operations in the healthcare environment make a big difference for patients every day. At On Time Logistics, we offer medical courier services, which allows medical facilities in Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock and Tulsa the ability to have lab specimens, vital medical documents, and even medical equipment that some clients store in our warehouse delivered. This allows them to more efficiently serve their patients while saving money by outsourcing these services to a professional company instead of paying to provide such services in-house.

We know that the focus of a medical facility, be it a small clinic or a large hospital, should always be about patient outcomes. But having efficient business operations such as automated inventory management, professional medical courier services, and effective medical device warehousing services is a big part of positive patient outcomes.

Are you an administrator at a medical facility in Northwest Arkansas, Tulsa, Little Rock or the surrounding area? How is efficient is your inventory management? How about your lab delivery service? We’d love to help you make a difference in the lives of your patients. Give us a call!

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