Unorganized Supply Room Like Teenagers Bedroom

Unorganized Supply Room Like Teenagers Bedroom

Part Two of Two Part Series

Do your medical-surgical supply rooms remind you of a teenager’s messy bedroom — things hanging out, cluttered shelves and a look of general mayhem?  Unorganized supply areas are a marker of unorganized processes and the lack of an automated, integrated inventory management system. 

This negatively impacts your financial and clinical success through:

Lost Revenue

  • Wasted clinician time spent searching for supply items and manually charging and ordering
  • High supply management labor costs to manually count, order and replenish inventory, and manage paper-based AP processing
  • Missed charges, with a higher percentage of revenue loss in high-cost procedural areas
  • Lack of usage/volume data for reporting and planning, which compromises vendor consolidation and volume discounting, and capture of total cost-of-care data
  • Too much inventory, which leads to expired stock, missing items and theft, and takes up valuable floor space that could be used for higher revenue-generating services

Compromised Patient Safety

  • Stock-outs or wrong picked items with potential to delay case starts and lower OR throughput; or worse yet, compromise patient health and safety
  • Diminished clinician time with patients as nurses attend to low-value supply duties

Unfortunately, lack of automation, and therefore lost revenue, is most prevalent in your high-impact specialty areas like the OR, Cath Lab and IR.  Even in the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals, 70% of implantable medical device monitoring and tracking is still done manually. [1]

And when that costly consignment item comes up missing — you pay thousands, whether or not you used it.

An integrated inventory control system can help you clean up your act.  Healthcare point of use [A1] (POU) solutions provide the following advantages:

  • Automates critical supply functions, such as supply requisitioning, patient charging, inventory management and information capture through bar code scanning and integrated RFID technology. You reduce errors and eliminate labor on both the front and back ends.
  • Integrates process and information flow between clinical, billing and inventory systems.  For example, one cardiology and surgery POU system offers single-scan integration within the clinical case to capture charges, charge the patient, decrement inventory and signal reorders.
  • Improves data capture for reporting and strategic analysis.  Usage and price data integrated to your clinical, billing and materials management information system (MMIS) facilitates vendor and product consolidation, and total cost of care data for government reporting and cost-saving initiatives.
  • Reduces and streamlines inventory, to virtually eliminate stock-outs and overstocks, while offering just-in-time delivery to reduce carrying/overnights costs and free floor space for more profitable uses.
  • Helps ensure patient safety through systematic organization, tracking and ordering of supply items, to help alleviate using expired or recalled items.
  • Generates savings for strategic investments and improvements. Many customers of one POU supply solution gained significant process improvements: a 30% reduction in unofficial inventory, a 20% improvement in charge capture, and a 15% reduction in staff time.  This translates to bottom line savings that can be used for reinvestment in profitable service lines and capital improvements.

By automating and integrating supply functions with the right point of use systems, you can reduce your supply spend, increase charge capture, and ensure that the right supplies are available when needed.  And you can clear supply duties off the plate of your clinicians so they can focus on what they do best — take care of patients.

Learn more about how point of use solutions increased compliance and revenue for Centra hospital.

Are unorganized supply areas costing you money and compromising patient safety?

[1] Bob Kehoe, “Seeing Device Costs Clearly,” Hospitals & Health Networks.