Managing stock in any case is a challenge, and for many healthcare organisations, medicine stock management means tracking medical supplies with lengthy spreadsheets.
The problem is, over time, it’s easy for these types of systems to become inaccurate and unorganised. This typically leads to more time and money spent on unnecessary inventory-related tasks and less time focusing on more important responsibilities like patient care.
What’s more, is that without a proper system for medical inventory, patients can easily be prescribed the wrong thing, or expired medication.
This is where medicine stock management comes in – and here’s 6 reasons why you need it:
- Reduce risk of errors
We all know the risk of keeping track of stock on paper, or a spreadsheet – it could easily get lost, data changed or fall into the wrong hands.
By implementing an automated medicine stock management system, you’re replacing all those paper-based activities with a cloud-based software, resulting in the reduction of prescribing errors and improved patient safety.
Your medical supplies can be managed by a unique batch number, code and their expiry date, reducing stock wastage and the risk of recalled or expired stock being issued. Recalled batches of medical supplies can be instantly identified and you will be alerted as stock is nearing its expiry date.
- Avoid legal claims
Making errors with medication not only increases the chance of prescribing the wrong thing to patients, but also leaves you open to expensive legal claims (especially if the patient is harmed). An example would be the prescribing of one drug, yet issuing the wrong thing, or a product is out of date or previously recalled. In all instances these issues are avoidable if a system is used to control the meds.
- Increased speed and accuracy of prescribing medicines
Having a smart system for prescribing meds and the associated stock management greatly increases the accuracy of system status and stock availability, meaning no wasting time prescribing a drug which isn’t available and the subsequent changing to an alternate product – MICS only allows the prescribing of available products.
The speed at which you can load and dispense medications improves – with a system like MICS it’s done at the click of a button – and the removal of all the manual data entry.
- Complete visibility and control of stock
Without an automated system in place, it’s extremely challenging for medical stock to stay organised – and keeping track of stock coming in and out is crucial for busy hospitals and pharmacies.
Clinicians typically don’t have the time to fill out paperwork each time they prescribe a new medication. Avoiding time consuming paperwork, a medicine stock management system gives you complete visibility of all your medical supplies – you can control what’s taken out and by who, and get a clear view of stock levels at any time.
By having a crystal-clear view of your inventory, you’ll never again have to worry about running out of key medical supplies or being surprised by expired medication.
- Secure and compliant stock management
Whether it’s in a care home, hospital or GP surgery, staff members need to properly store away medications, apparatus, or equipment so that there is little chance of theft or things being misplaced.
A medicine stock management system improves the safety and security of handling these assets.
Our advanced Medicine Inventory Control System (MICS) is a complete solution that integrates leading inventory control software with our secure Smart Locker technology. The smart locker technology will only give you access to medications if the correct prescribing process has been followed.
It’s also important to remember that the medical field is a highly regulated industry. Due to the fact that many healthcare professionals have access to controlled substances, it is required by law for care providers, medical clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies to report any medicines that have been lost or misplaced. Without an accurate, up-to-date stock management system, you could be vulnerable to issues due to theft, and face legal liabilities.
- Real time tracking
A medicine stock management system like MICS keeps track of every asset you have and will enable regular real-time audits. You can use this to better estimate demand – for instance by seeing something is low in stock or has been dispensed frequently, you can tell you need to order more.
Users can simply scan the contents of lockers or cupboards and the system matches the stock against its records of items checked in and out.
Comprehensive records of exactly what has been checked out, when and by whom, enable a full audit trail. You will also be alerted if a discrepancy is found.
How does MICS work?
MICS combines inventory control software and our Smart Locker technology, but how does it work?
When we’ve helped you build your bespoke database of medications, we’ll allocate a secure location for each product in your Smart Locker (we can either build a new Smart Locker or fix MICS Smart Locks to your existing cupboards).
Items are uniquely identified with their serial number, batch and use-by date so we are able to offer 100% traceability.
The stock management process is simple, and requires items to be barcode scanned in our MICS app using a smartphone, tablet or PDA. As items are scanned the correct door opens. The locker can then be loaded and then stock is added to the system.
To dispense medication, the app will tell you the exact barcoded box or product to use and where to get it from. All you need is a secure pin to unlock the correct cupboard or locker.
It’s time to say goodbye to lost supplies and complicated spreadsheets so you can spend less time worrying about inventory details and more time focusing on your business and caring for patients.