A standard hospital has an average of 5 to10 devices per bed which means even a comparatively small 100-bed hospital is home to thousands of medical devices highlighting the significance of inventory management. Equipment inventory is an essential part of an effective health care management, and in order for accelerate the success of management activities, inventory must be updated continually to provide accurate status as at when needed.

Efficiently managing and monitoring any business inventory can make a huge difference between profitability and failure. Looking at the success of Walmart, as a case study, can be largely traced to its superior inventory management strategy and the execution of that strategy. The thing is if inventory isn’t managed meticulously, with incredible efficiency, such slim profit margins can easily slip into losses – which at the scales involved can quickly sink the business. Starting from Initial data collection as at when a new piece of equipment arrives or leaves, information needs to be updated through a risk-based analysis in order to ensure appropriate time and resource allocation to eliminate future unnecessary work. Each hospital should set up a standard requirement according to its capabilities. Inventory management can be done through a paper-based or computer based system, as determined by the resources available.

Once established, the inventory serves as the foundation for moving forward within the HTM system and ensuring safe and effective medical equipment. The inventory may be used to develop budgets for capital purchases, maintenance and running costs; to build and support an effective clinical engineering department, by allowing for workshop planning, hiring and training of technical support staff, and establishing and maintaining service contracts; to support an effective medical equipment management programme, such as planning preventive maintenance activities and tracking work orders; and to plan the stock of spare parts and consumables.

The inventory may also be used to support equipment needs assessment within the health-care facility and to record the purchase, receipt, retirement and discarding of equipment. Facility risk analysis and mitigation, and emergency and disaster planning, are also supported by an inventory.

Source Credit: WHO, Cybermdx

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