The Issues
Managing supplies within any healthcare facility can be difficult. Residential facilities present an even greater challenge because of the nature of their operation. Many times the entire supply operation is can end disorganized and contribute to shortages of some supplies and more than enough of others.

Disorganization not only causes problems for staff and residents, it can also wreak havoc with administrative control and cause serious escalation of costs. Some organizations don’t realize that these problems can create a cascading effect on their overall operation. Even morale can be affected.

Consider what can happen when there are shortage of some items and overages of others.
• Being out of a certain item may lead to having to on an expedited – residents and staff are unhappy and costs mount
• Having a disorganized storeroom leads to frustrated nursing and other staff have to waste time trying to needed supplies
• Costs rise, people become anxious and even angry and the atmosphere becomes unhealthy and unproductive

What can be done is avoid these issues?
1. Have a Clear Policy
Inventory control is far too important to leave to chance. Without a clear policy that states how inventory is to be handled, how supplies are to be ordered, how they should be received and entered into inventory, how they should be dispensed and charged appropriately. All these areas need to be addressed.

2. Institute a Firm Process

Everything that has to do with supplies should be broken down into simple operations that everyone must follow.

This should include:
How the storeroom/s should be organized, including acquiring and maintaining the right shelving/storage equipment
Use a sign-in sheet to determine who is dispensing what

3. Have a Method of Tracking All Orders, Receiving and Dispensing/Charging

Using paper recording leaves too many opportunities for mistakes or even lack of recording. There needs to be a full-time electronic system that tracks not only inventory on hand, but also the min/max to trigger orders.

In addition, there should be a real-time tracking for where orders are, when they are received and how/to whom items are charged

This is not just for cost control. It is also needed for ERH and as a consequence can demonstrate that a resident has received the items and charges that they should get. Accuracy will make billing easier and avoid questions as to whether the charged items were delivered.

4. Searchable Records

Without being able to quickly electronically search records for all of the activities involving medical supplies, it becomes difficult if not impossible to know the status of inventory and charging. Good administrative practices should include the use this type of record-keeping to avoid wasted time trying to solve billing questions.

Following these practices will eliminate wasted time, frustration and lost revenue.

InBeam’s AdminiCare Medical Supplies Inventory System provides quick and easy scanning for dispensing supplies. The System also easily integrates with virtually all systems that relate to procurement and billing including EHR.

Keep Track!
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