How to Alleviate the Burden on Hospital Staff Caused by Supplies-Related Problems 

At VUEMED, before we implement any system, we spend significant time assessing the pain points related to inventory management, clinical documentation, and supply chain. We work as a team in long-term partnerships with hospitals to resolve these problems by building internal automated systems and empowering hospital staff to gain control over their inventory. Our solutions relieve the burden on hospital staff by saving them time, stress, and frustration so they can focus on what matters most – PATIENT CARE. 

Here Are the Main Supplies-Related Problems We Typically See:

Lack of inventory visibility leads to:

  1. A lack of real-time information about on-hand availability and location of items. 
  2. Limited and unreliable data on clinical inventory transactions.
  3. Manual and ineffective expiration and recall management, putting patients at risk. 

Poor management of supplies orders leads to:

  1. Inefficient, time-consuming, and manual placement of product orders. 
  2. Unreliable or unavailable orders fulfillment status.
  3. Stress and skepticism among clinical staff, resulting in hoarding of supplies.

Cumbersome and error-prone clinical documentation leads to:

  1. Time-consuming manual and inaccurate entry of each item used.
  2. Discrepancies that result in delayed charge submissions.
  3. Unreliable demand signal for inventory replenishment and forecasting. 

Inadequate and inefficient storage space leads to:

  1. Disorganized and overcrowded supply rooms.
  2. Unmonitored identical supplies stored in multiple locations, causing redundancies. 
  3. Lack of trust in actual product availability and location.

How Are Clinical and Supply Chain Staff Impacted by These Problems?

The lack of inventory visibility and control creates a significant burden on hospital staff, which mostly falls into two categories – TIME DRAIN and STRESS, both of which lead to many other problems. 

Clinical and supply chain staff waste massive amounts of their precious TIME:

  • Manually counting inventory to know what needs to be reordered.
  • Placing and then following up on orders with supply chain and multiple vendors.
  • Checking for expired and/or recalled items.
  • Scrambling for last-minute substitutes when orders are delayed or products are on backorder, risking the cancelation of patient cases.
  • Manually auditing and typing in missing information (such as lot or serial number) for implants at the point of care, during billing, or for reordering consigned items.
  • Tracking consignment fulfillment and compliance.
  • Tracking items borrowed and returned between departments/cost centers.

And clinical and supply chain staff experience tremendous STRESS as a result of these chaotic and ineffective inventory management practices, leading to ANXIETY:

  • Over items not being in stock for procedures, resulting in reactive “just in case” ordering, thus causing overstocking, hoarding, and wasted supplies.
  • Over whether and when their supplies will be received and can the cases be performed as scheduled; no visibility on backorders.
  • Over not knowing which supplies are available due to clinical inventory being scattered across multiple locations in the hospital and mixed with trays and other supplies.
  • Over the fact that, typically, 95% of case carts are not accurate and are disconnected from preference cards.  

Our solution? Automation, automation, automation! Let’s eliminate the need for clinical staff to perform inventory-related functions and provide the tools to supply chain staff to be more effective and efficient.

  • Establish an automated, accurate, streamlined, and user-friendly UDI data capture process for each item used, including lot and serial number. This avoids non-value added work during and after each patient encounter, such as filling data gaps or correcting data entry errors.
  • Implement an automated perpetual inventory management solution – whether barcode scanning or RAIN RFID – to track supplies in real time from receipt to the point of care in each procedural department. This ensures visibility of on-hand status, automates the reordering process, and makes recall and expiration management fast and easy. 
  • Automatically capture UDI information for each inventory transaction to ensure appropriate accounting of delivered, transferred, and removed supplies, and accurate visibility of stock levels and reordering needs.
  • Ensure the continual upkeep of an accurate item master and its synchronization with clinical and financial systems. This is essential for reducing supply expenses, keeping a lean inventory, improving patient safety and outcomes, ensuring correct billing, having accurate analytics and reporting, and ensuring a clinically integrated supply chain.

Let’s fundamentally change the way inventory is managed, once and for all. Automation removes the likelihood of human error and markedly eases the burden on hospital staff. THEY DESERVE NOTHING LESS.