In this article we look at four benefits of automated two-bin Kanban and PAR systems in healthcare:
- Achieving accurate medical supplies usage data
- Reducing the cost of hospital inventory management
- Improving patient care by facilitating the continued supply of medical inventory
- Using medical supplies data to enhance inventory management decision-making
In 2023 is a passive two-bin Kanban or PAR system really an efficient way to work?
What exactly can an automated healthcare supply management solution deliver?
In healthcare medical supply management, it’s all about cycles. Inventory cycles. Inventory rounds.
And a lot of running around.
Manual healthcare 2-Bin Kanban and Par-level inventory management is known to be a labor-intensive task.
As automation tools are transforming the market, could automating hospital 2-bin Kanban or PAR-level systems make a big impact on the efficiency of healthcare inventory management?
Here we look at 5 benefits of using automated medical supplies management systems in the healthcare setting.
1. Accurate medical supplies management
Traditional hospital Kanban and PAR systems rely upon the continual monitoring of bins.
- With PAR systems there is perpetual stock counting to see how much stock is left.
- With Kanban systems there is continual inventory rounds to identify empty bins.
When the inventory rounds are complete the data collected immediately becomes out of date.
It’s an ongoing task that you can never get ahead of.
Adding automation to a hospital Kanban and PAR system results in real-time stock visibility without the need for constant human-checking.
Heard of the old adage, ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’?
That kind of represents manual Kanban and PAR!
With automation you can finally ensure, ‘Accuracy In, Accuracy Out’.
If up to date stock and usage data is achieved, then these figures drive through relevant and timely restock orders.
All inventory bins will be receiving restocks in good time, giving nurses confidence and peace of mind.
2. Reduced medical inventory costs
When you have the full picture of your hospital inventory and reordering becomes precise, there are business benefits too. In particular gaining a clear vision of healthcare inventory results in many positive financial impacts:
- A reduced and balanced inventory is achieved – based on actual stock figures and usage data
- An end to waste, caused by inaccurate orders based on miscounts or best guesses
- Reduced labor required for managing bulk medical supplies
- An end to emergency orders due to better inventory control
- Fewer, more consolidated orders are easier to manage
Hospital inventory management automation doesn’t just make operational sense, it makes business sense too – delivering significant cost and labor savings.
3. How accurate inventory management support patient care
So, automation is great for organizations, but what about patients?
Nurses are responsible for the delivery of high-quality patient care but to do this they are reliant upon the easy availability of medical supplies.
If items are out of stock or need to be tracked down on other wards, then nurses get frustrated and worn out, and patients are left waiting for the delivery of their care.
The provision of full and perpetual medical supplies – achieved using automated medical supplies management systems – underpins the delivery of timley, high-quality patient care.
4. Inventory data underpins efficient medical supplies management
Many people focus on the hardware involved in automated inventory management, but the truth is that this is only one element of an automated two-bin Kanban or PAR solution. Modern systems are made up of: Hardware + Software + Cloud
- Hardware is at the point of use and contains an electronic element, such as a digital tag.
- Software is the ‘brain’ behind the system and crunches all the data received by the hardware
- Cloud is the system that shares this information with hospital systems
An automated two-bin hospital Kanban or PAR system in healthcare uses technology at the hardware, software and cloud level.
Data such as stock levels and usage, is not just valuable to inform the next round of restocking. Storing medical inventory data builds up a historical picture of the healthcare organization’s usage of medical supplies, and this vital information will support planning.
The best automated inventory management systems in healthcare provide metrics, reports and data insights, that inform management and support financial and inventory planning.
Any planning activity is only as good as the baseline data, so automation has a short, medium and long-term effect on the management of healthcare inventory.
As this article has discussed, automated medical supplies management systems can add accuracy to the management of bulk supplies as well as reduce costs and improve patient care. In addition, the valuable data collected and analyzed will support data-driven decision making that adds efficiency into longer term planning.
Hospitals and ambulatory care centers that are using manual Kanban and PAR systems for the management of their medical supplies are spending too much money and using up precious resources. In 2023 there’s a simpler, cheaper and resource-light way to manage inventory.
Automation helps hospitals and ambulatory care centers to work smarter not harder – enabling them to manage on fewer resources and make costs savings that together support improved organizational performance.
It may seem a bit daunting to consider upgrading to an automated 2-bin Kanban system, but modern 2-bin Kanban automation technology actually makes this a quick and simple task.
The existing inventory bins can be used, without the need to change storeroom layout or make any large hardware purchases.
Find out how IDENTI’s hospital 2-bin Kanban automation tools, and PAR-level solutions are helping healthcare providers to upgrade their existing medical supplies systems for enhanced management and control.
Read a case study of a hospital that gained big wins after going digital.
Contact us for a demo.