Every supply chain manager faces the same challenges:
- Optimize stock levels, balancing safe levels, and overstock concerns.
- Have stock located conveniently where needed to minimize wasted motion of staff.
- Making sure there are no out of stock disruptions.
These three issues are constantly being addressed and reviewed for the following reasons:
- Patient safety
- Cost reduction
- Staffing efficiency
Hospitals are constantly trying to implement systems and devices to control and record the movement of stock so that they know what they have on hand, what is being used, and how often it is being used so that proper levels can be maintained. Unfortunately, all of these systems have a common weakness: the human factor. There isn’t a system out there that can’t be bypassed somehow, usually done with the best intentions. Time is a precious commodity in healthcare. When we install systems to track and monitor the movement of products, they are often viewed by staff as roadblocks to timely and efficient patient care. People will find a way around these roadblocks, resulting in decisions being made based on bad data. Unless you are using regular and verifiable inventory practices to monitor and adjust, the value of your data will decline rapidly.
Three steps for maintaining accurate data
MEASURE – Conduct a baseline inventory. Count everything. Know what you have and where it resides.
MONITOR – Cycle count your stock. Establish parameters for frequency of cycle counting based on value and movement.
ADJUST – Fine tune Min-Max levels, Par quantities, and product placement based on your findings.
MEASURE – MONITOR – ADJUST™
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