Cluttered and disorganized departments are detrimental and can negatively impact financial and clinical success. This can stem from the pharmacy department all the way down to the nursing stations. (Sustainability Roadmap for Hospital Article States) “ The second largest expense on a hospital’s balance sheet (following labor) is supply chain costs. It was reported that in 2009, the average hospital providers spends more than $72 million a year on supply chain functions, nearly one-third of its annual operating budget. Majority of the materials procured by a hospital ultimately becomes waste, resulting in nearly 7,000 tons of waste every day and $10 BILLION annually in disposal costs across the health care industry.”

Unorganized supply areas are a marker of unorganized processes and the lack of an automated, integrated inventory management system. Throwing out unused supplies is one of the most wasteful practices at heath care facilities. The energy and money it takes to manufacturer those products just to have them available when needed is a huge contributor to climate change and the healthcare facility bottom line.

Here six ways unorganized department can lead to lost revenue.

  1. Throwing out unused items due to expiration or potential contact of harmful pathogens.
  2. Clinicians waste time searching for items and manually charging and ordering them.
  3. Manually counting, ordering and replenishing inventory can lead to inflated supply management labor costs.
  4. Disorganization can result in missed charges, which then results in a higher percentage of revenue loss in high-cost procedural areas.
  5. Without items being in an automated system, organizations may not have adequate usage and volume data for reporting and planning, which throws off total cost-of-care data.
  6. Having too much inventory means items go unused, so some items expire and can be stolen. Furthermore, excess items use up “valuable floor space” that could be used for higher revenue-generating services.

Here are a few ways unorganized closets can compromise patient safety.

  1. Clinicians in unorganized closets may pick the wrong items, leading to delayed case starts, as well as potentially leading to an adverse patient event.
  2. As nurses deal with low-value supply duties, there is less time to actually spend with the patients.
  3. More disposable products can come into contact with harmful pathogens leaving patients susceptible to HAI.
  4. Less diversion in Pharmaceuticals.

By automating and integrating supply functions with the right point of use systems, as well as having organized shelving and easy workflow, all departments can reduce supply spend, increase charge capture, and ensure that the right supplies are available when needed.

Here are tools that can be implemented to help reduce waste and become more organized without spending a ton of money.

  1. Proper shelving and organized drawers to be able to locate items easily – H+H System customization trays, carts and shelving.
  2. Have UV light system that can sterilize disposable products inside patients rooms that would normally be thrown out to help reduce HAI (Hospital Accrued Infections).
  3. Put in place a point of use system to check inventory par levels.
  4. Look at data provided from automated system and remove any items no longer being used.
  5. Educate and train staff on how to reduce waste and what the overall goal is.

An organized and efficiently run healthcare facility will allow more resources to be allocated to items that will increase patient care and allow clinicians to more efficient and provide better care.

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