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Managing Your OR Inventory More Effectively

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Profit margins within the healthcare industry can be slim, so finding ways to reduce overhead costs can be a beneficial way to boost profits. The supplies used within an operating room (OR) can be difficult to track.

Here are three tips you can use to help you more effectively manage your OR inventory to reduce superfluous spending in the future.

1. Start with an accurate physical count.

Before you can implement an effective inventory-management program, you must know exactly how many OR items you have on hand. This process begins with obtaining a physical count of the supplies that are used within your hospital or clinic's operating rooms each day.

Hiring a third-party inventory control specialist such as Instant Inventory Service can be beneficial when it comes to conducting a physical inventory count. These individuals have the knowledge and skill required to accurately identify your current supply inventory despite the constant use that occurs when an OR is being utilized.

2. Make employees more accountable for supply use.

Once you have an accurate count for each type of medical supply used in your operating rooms, you need to make your employees more accountable for the use of these items. Implementing an inventory checklist that must be completed prior to any scheduled operation will help you track the supplies being used in each individual operating room.

Setting standardized limits on the quantity of supplies that should be stocked prior to each surgery can also help reduce excess supply use. When employees are accountable for tracking their supply use, superfluous usage should decrease. This will help ensure your inventory lasts as long as possible.

3. Conduct regular inventory checks.

Unless you are regularly checking the quantity and quality of the supplies in your inventory, you could be losing money due to mismanaged inventory items. Regular inventory checks allows you to ensure that supplies are not expiring before their use-by dates, reducing the amount of money lost as a result of having unused supplies.

These regular checks will also help ensure that your supply closet remains fully stocked, eliminating a potential emergency situation caused by a lack of supplies at the ready to stock your operating rooms in the future.

Inventory management plays a critical role in the success of any healthcare facility. Be sure that you are taking the time to improve your inventory-management system by conducting a physical count of supplies on hand, making employees more accountable for supply usage, and conducting regular inventory checks.