Pharmaceutical Inventory Management

Managing pharmaceutical inventory in a hospital, clinic or physician’s office can be challenging. It can entail skills your medical staff do not necessarily possess. Tracking is essential to keeping vital and commonly used medications on hand while monitoring the usage of addictive and harmful medications subject to theft or misuse. Keeping accurate records help management understand what inventory is available, when to order and ensure physical inventory matches inventory records. Ultimately, reducing inventory shrinkage could save millions of dollars over the course of a year.

Lead times with few supplier options can result in detrimental shortages without the assistance of an inventory management designed for the job. The recent pandemic has been a useful reminder to the medical community; managing inventory when there is a high variability in demand is challenging. You need to ensure life-saving medications are in ample supply at all times, even in the event of a significant increase in patient infections, as we have seen throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Being prepared means recalculating minimum quantities, identifying alternate supply options, having adequate storage, and optimizing the balance between stock levels and demand, while needing to remain profitable. At a time when having sufficient supply means having more on hand, it is essential to find ways to reduce shrinkage, costs, and labor. SOS Inventory is designed for the pharmaceutical industry and can do all three.

Inventory Management in Hospital Pharmacy

pharmaceutical inventory managementRunning out of products results in loss of sales and profitability for most businesses; the outcome for shortages of vital medications can be prolonged sickness, loss of life and malpractice lawsuits. It is an outcome no hospital administration wants to face. Managing inventory quantities, expirations, and proper storage entails careful management, aided by barcode scanning from the time of receipt and lot tracking to record every movement the medication takes throughout the facility, and, of course, noting the quantities sold. Physical inventory should, and must, update throughout the entire system no matter where the transaction takes place.

Stock Management in a Hospital Pharmacy

Why is stock management in a hospital pharmacy environment so challenging to implement? Switching from a spreadsheet-based inventory system to software management entails entering many product specific details into a database. Fields required for billing and invoicing must be populated and details about drug instructions, warnings and side-effects should also be included as wholly as possible.  A complete picture of inventory gives staff better control to avoid shortages, order on time and save on wasted labor hours.

Medicine Inventory Requirements

Managing medicine inventory comes with unique challenges to convert raw materials into prescriptions using formulas, turning over inventory prior to expiration, managing the location of dangerous and theft-prone medications, not to mention meeting strict regulatory guidelines. Knowing exactly what’s on hand, who has handled it, who prescribed it and to whom it was administered are important pieces of the chain of custody with the supervision of any product involving health and well-being.

Pharmaceutical Inventory Management Systems

SOS Inventory offers the health industry important pharmaceutical inventory management features essential to balancing supply and demand of important prescriptions.

  1. Barcode scanning – to accurately log physical inventory count and medication description including any important warnings, instructions, and side effects information.
  2. Lot tracking – forward and backward traceability to locate any tainted product.
  3. Expiration date tracking – reduce waste and ensure patients receive active medications.
  4. Automate purchase orders – determine reorder points and automatically place orders from suppliers.

The obstacle most hospital pharmacies face is the complexity of the software solution being proposed. Your team are medical experts; you don’t expect them to be computer science experts, too!

SOS Inventory is quick and easy to implement, often up and running in just a few days, is proven, and widely used in the medical and pharmaceutical world. It works well in the health care sector as it can address measurements in fractions, expiration date management and more. Medications can be categorized for consumption patterns, clinical necessity, and importance to have on hand.

SOS Inventory can improve all key performance indicators, lower costs, reduce labor hours, and provide a transparent view of all operations processed with an intelligent pharmaceutical inventory software.

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