Managing perpetual vs. non-perpetual inventory

I had a discussion recently with someone who was asking about perpetual vs. non-perpetual clinical inventory. When it comes to most items in a department’s perpetual inventory, the department doesn’t need to track the lot number and expiration date for every single item; most of the perpetual products are not likely to expire since they’re used and reordered continuously and are not likely to stagnate on the shelves. The recall issues may pertain to them, but they’re not likely to be Class I or II (most serious cases that may affect patient outcomes).

Where it really matters to track this information is with the inventory that is typically managed directly by the departments since that includes the implants and all kinds of supporting products that are not only more expensive, but are more likely to be used less frequently (if at all, depending on size), to be the subject of serious recalls, and to be charged to the patient/insurance during the cases.

That’s where a good inventory management technology solution can support departments quite well without needing extra resources. Staff who already handle inventory in each department can continue to do so, but much more efficiently. And the resulting data from capturing these day-to-day inventory transactions is available not only to them but to other constituents whose decision-making relies on this information as well, such as materials management, value analysis teams, and so on.