Precise hospital logistics to avoid disasters in the event of a crisis

Posted on July 3 2020

Reading time: 5 minutes

The management of medical equipment is essential in the health care industry, particularly because the health of patients and staff is at stake. The primary goal of any hospital, clinic or doctor’s office is to provide the best possible care to patients while ensuring the health and safety of their staff, regardless of the condition of the patients. Find out how this mission can be affected by inaccurate inventory management.

Importance of hospital logistics and inventory

Daily challenges in the hospital environment

Most hospitals have systems for inventory management, purchasing and billing. Staff must be on site to maintain their warehouses; inventory levels and the most critical processes are already in place. These hospital logistics systems are cumbersome to maintain and require significant technical knowledge. Also, it takes years or even decades to replace them.

Other health care facilities use smaller systems that present administrative challenges. For example, staff may try to manage these activities through Excel, in-house solutions, or with an entry-level ERP with limited inventory functions. The latter method makes maintenance difficult and requires intensive training. To get a true picture of inventories, ERPs almost require a PhD!

By using these methods, it is not uncommon for administrative tasks to fall behind, creating a problem of accuracy in the inventory. Although health care providers know that it is very important to maintain their inventory, there is not enough time in a day to do so.

The Impact of Poor Inventory Management for Hospitals

Doctor confused to find his hospital inventory
Let’s imagine the worst-case scenario: there is a large flow of patients due to a local virus, a cold or flu, a tragic event or natural disaster, or even a global pandemic (such as Covid-19). The institution’s capacity to take care of their patients and staff is not sufficient to meet the needs.

The allocation of time and resources is now at a breaking point. Staff who overwork themselves to work are getting sick. Of course, the number of patients calling or coming in for a consultation is increasing dramatically. Your priority is to give them the best possible care, considering the medical equipment you have on hand.

At some point, a staff member will have taken the last bottle of disinfectant, or the last mask in the box, and suddenly the protective equipment required to protect patients and staff is at an extremely low or non-existent level. Suddenly, your priority becomes equipment replenishment. Staff take risks by making their own protective equipment. And some end up getting sick, including the one and only person who knew how to handle your inventory system, which doesn’t improve your situation.

You cannot predict when a crisis, pandemic or natural disaster will occur. But you can be prepared. All you would need is an inventory management system that provides accurate information and does not require extensive technical knowledge to use and maintain. In this way, you can avoid and limit these disastrous situations so that you can put the well-being, health and safety of your patients and staff at the forefront.

How to have an accurate inventory level at all times?

Accurate inventory at all times
If your inventory level is accurate, when an unexpected situation occurs, you will be able to manage this crisis without worrying about a lack of equipment. Administrative staff will be able to monitor and track inventory, order items when required and work with their suppliers for those on backorder.

How can Hector help you?

Hector is an inventory software that allows the tracking of medical assets and equipment. This solution requires no in-depth technical knowledge to use and update. By keeping close track of your inventory, you can focus on providing the best possible patient care.

  • It allows you to track your most important articles in less than an hour with a customized instance on our dedicated cloud environment.
  • It increases the ease of your data entry by using barcodes and simplified entry forms.
  • It manages your minimum inventory and recommends quantities by product and facility.
  • It provides you with a complete history of inventory and stock levels.
  • It produces a report in just a few clicks for quick decision making.
  • Once the crisis is over, it helps you balance your budget with the cost tracking tool.

Losing, misplacing or missing medical supplies necessary for a patient’s health should NEVER happen. Replenishing equipment in times of crisis is as much of a priority as providing care. Without protective gear and medication, you won’t be able to save lives. Good logistics ensure the health and safety of your patients and staff. To be prepared for any eventuality, implement automated management software like Hector!

Try Hector free for 15 days! No billing information required.

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