- May 24, 2020
- Posted by: sospeter
- Category: Blog News, Medical Insdustry
Healthcare organizations have many reasons to effectively manage their inventory, including implantable device tracking, investment protection and contract compliance. The advantages of having an effective means to control the inventory typically outweigh the cost associated with implementing an inventory control system. Depending on the size of the healthcare organization, an effective inventory control system can range from a robust spreadsheet to an industry-specific, third-party application.
Surgical instruments represent a large investment for most healthcare organizations. Most people have some familiarity with the small, stainless steel surgical instruments found in dentists’ offices, but some surgical instruments, especially those used in hospitals, can cost $50,000 to $100,000 or more. Because these instruments cannot easily get replaced due to prohibitive cost or availability, it makes sense for the healthcare organization to effectively manage this inventory. An effective inventory management system allows the healthcare organization to track the use and availability of these instruments. Effective inventory tracking reduces the opportunity for loss and theft. It also allows the healthcare organization to more effectively manage rotation of the instruments between surgery, sterilization and storage.
Medical Device Tracking
Many healthcare organizations manage implantable devices such as aneurysm clips and cerebral spinal fluid shunts. These medical devices along with any other implantable medical device follow strict medical device manufacturing guidelines for documenting the device’s information and movement. Implantable medical devices all have a serial number. This serial number tracks the device’s movements starting at the manufacturing plant to final implantation in a patient. An effective inventory control system allows a healthcare organization to determine exactly which implantable device was used on a specific patient for a specific operation. This is invaluable information should the implanted device cause any sort of adverse reaction in the patient. The healthcare organization, the manufacturer and the medical device distributor use this information to trace the medical device’s history and movement.
Many healthcare organizations such as pharmacies and hospitals have group-buying contracts with distributors and manufacturers of healthcare-related products. Because of these group contracts the healthcare organization purchases goods at reduced prices. Making the most of these contracts relies on an effective inventory control system. An ineffective inventory control system leads to two possibilities–either purchasing too many of too few of an item. Either scenario has a negative impact on the healthcare organization. When a healthcare organization experiences a stock-out due to ineffective inventory management, it can force a purchase outside of the contractual terms. This results in the organization buying at increased prices instead of contracted prices. It also creates a purchase price variance and makes the organization non-compliant with the terms of the contract. A good inventory control systems reduces the risk of stock-outs and keeps the organization in compliance with the group-buying contract.