In recent years, many hospitals have been forced to carry lesser inventory to improve their profit margins. “Just-in-time buying,” as it gets called, is a practice that’s gaining popularity because it controls supply-chain costs.
On the negative side, however, it’s possible this puts patients in a compromising situation. For example, a certain medical implant isn’t in inventory the night before a patient needs surgery.
So, the surgery has to be rescheduled for a different date.
Not only is that stressful and inconvenient for the patient, but it costs the hospital more money to move the patient to a new location where the needed supplies are available. At the same time, the cost saving from carrying just enough inventory can really add up for hospitals.
Some experts believe supply chain departments spend too much time negotiating better prices. Instead, they’re better off focusing on replenishment, waste elimination, and overall efficiency. Automotive companies can do this much more effectively because they can predict customer demand. However, health conditions have no known season, so it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how much of any particular inventory you need to keep on hand.
Opponents of just-in-time buying will, of course, point to the fact that you’re jeopardizing people’s health by trying to balance your on-hand inventory with patients’ needs. The solution? It may be analytics optimization. As you gather data, you can more accurately understand what products should be kept on-hand for various procedures. This includes procedures with unpredictable demand.
You May Need Help Managing Your Healthcare Facility’s Inventory
Even sophisticated hospitals have difficulty balancing demand for medical products and the amount of inventory they need to keep on-hand. It’s wise to have an accurate understanding of what you typically need, along with a cushion just in case you have a surge for demand.
But it’s not easy to track and manage your inventory. However, with the advent of IoT, this is likely to become much easier.
And Pollock can help you keep accurate track of your healthcare facility’s inventory. Call 855.239.5153 to learn how today.