manage medical inventory

Inventory Control in Healthcare: Implications and Strategies

When thinking about inventory control in healthcare, one could define it as the effective tracking of item movement in and out of the facility, combined with usage analysis and stock management. But what does this really mean for your medical practice?

Patient Care

The primary goal of inventory control in healthcare should be providing safe and appropriate care to patients. “I’m sorry we’re out” are words no one wants to hear, and show the importance of monitoring stock levels to ensure adequate supply. Item movement in and out should be recorded instantly, preferably by scanning into computer software. When combined with effective item level thresholds, these systems can predict shortfalls and tell you when it’s time to order.

Reputation

Good inventory control in healthcare impacts patient welfare, but there are other considerations as well. A doctor may be personally caring and competent, but a poorly managed office can greatly hurt one’s reputation in today’s fast-paced social media age. Your medical practice is a business, and you owe it to yourself to protect your brand. Many offices still rely on pen and paper or even a spreadsheet to track inventory, but it should be obvious that modern healthcare requires a more effective tool, one that can track data in real-time and alert you to action that needs to be taken to maintain adequate stocks and avoid disappointing customers.

The Right Tool

The best tool for managing inventory is through using the right software package. But which one should you pick? First, top-rated medical supply software should have a fair price. This should go without saying, but many medical offices still spend too much because they think money equals quality.

Second, a good system should track and control items, and also help you know when it’s time to re-order. In addition, you’ll want features like purchase order creation and EDI integration, since give you the convenience and order fulfillment to keep things running smoothly.

Your medical supply software should also let you control who can process inventory, and what tasks they can do. A good system is scalable and lets you monitor and manage your entire practice across multiple locations. And finally, you should look for a system that runs on the web, so there’s no messy software to install and manage.

Your reputation and name as a provider is the most important business asset you have. This is why you should use medical supply software, both to guard your brand as well as protect your patients’ health. This can be an effective first step as you start thinking about inventory control in healthcare.