Hospital Inventory Management
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By maximizing techniques developed in other fields, and applying them through business science, the average hospital pharmacy can make a significant difference in their labor investment, the safety of their patients, and also significantly reduce their long-term inventory investment.
Managing the business side of medical operations has become a major obstacle to medical professionals at almost every level. The unfortunate reality is that most pharmacy buyers have been trained as pharmacy technicians, and lack any formal business training. They do not consider the purchasing aspect of their job duties as important as the other things that they are doing, and as a result, often rely on less then scientific methods when it comes to managing the supply and demand side of hospital inventory management.
The most important aspect of any hospital inventory management system is the maximization of technological resources. While many inventory managers might take the use of technology for granted, many facilities are still lagging behind when it comes to converting to a completely electronic based management system. Many designated inventory managers still rely on a pen and paper based system for tracking supply usage and dispersal.
Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer software that will assist in the maintenance of current supply levels. Further, a great deal of software will automatically calculate reorder points based on previous levels of daily, monthly, and yearly usage. Reorder points can also be calculated on individual economic demands, allowing a reduction of up front expenses as supplies are ordered as closely to their expected usage date as possible.
While most of the software can be fully automated to reduce the amount of monthly labor devoted toward hospital inventory management, a certain amount of human interaction is still necessary. Trained personnel are still required to anticipate change based on future trends independent of past experience.
A healthy combination of technology, human ingenuity, and basic managerial techniques are required for successful inventory management.