The Healthcare inventory management system is a significant component that drives the quality of caregiving. This aspect of health care management is often neglected due to its mundane nature. Poor lab-inventory management can significantly increase administrative cost and time, decreasing overall efficiency and productivity. Paper-based practices increase the probability of inefficiencies in managing stock levels or material locations. Loss of inventory stock can hurt the bottom line of the healthcare organization.
Healthcare providers must safeguard the integrity and preserve accurate records to maintain compliance protocols. Through the automation and analysis tools of custom healthcare software solutions, pharmacy inventory management systems can track and dispense prescriptions in a streamlined fashion and with high-security protocols in place. This is executed through features, such as automated filling of prescriptions, segmented workflows, IVR, etc.
Customized, powerful, and efficient hospital inventory management systems can easily handle the most complex situations, such as 340B virtual inventory management. It ensures that healthcare organizations can withstand audits from payers, 340B suppliers, and others through healthcare software product development.
OSP Solution – A Holistic Laboratory Inventory Management System
A US-based client was looking to develop a complete management system that could combine data from different healthcare warehouses and generate easy-to-understand accumulation reports for 340B, WAC, and GPO accounts and savings reports that calculate the amount saved on each 340B drug.
What We Offered:
- Easy to identify patient eligibility, with a customized 340B management system implemented through integrated healthcare solutions. The system is integrated with other databases that store the data of 340B eligible patients and restrict 340B drug usage to outpatients and individuals who meet the requirements of the existing patient classification.
- Compliant Inventory Management through HIPAA compliant solutions that maintain multiple inventory centers and can assimilate dispersed inventories into the pharmacy workflow, enhancing processes, creating efficiencies, and reducing costs and errors.
- Direct Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) interfaces allow direct electronic data exchange between the inventory and order management system and suppliers and intuitively download and access the updated directories of suppliers.
Implementation Tips for Laboratory Inventory Management Software
1. Know Your Requirements:
The first and most critical step when building laboratory inventory management software is to understand the healthcare organization’s specific needs. This requires a deep analysis of the current lab systems and the potential areas of improvement. To get you started on this process, here are a few key questions to consider:
- Which healthcare staff will be using the LIMS system?
- What are the key functions that the system should be able to perform?
- What are the key metrics that need to be tracked and reported?
- Which areas of the LIMS system should be automated?
- How will the maintenance of the system be managed?
- Do you need cross-device and cross-location functionality?
- Which staff will be responsible for the smooth working of the system?
Answering these preliminary questions will help your organization gain perspective and understanding of the needs and elements of the development. Automated healthcare solutions should be incorporated to match specific needs that can add value to the lab and the healthcare organization.
Evaluate Your Options:
Many developers now offer laboratory information management systems. The key is to identify the option that suits your personal and customized requirements. Laboratory inventory management solutions should be in tune with the ongoing practice management solutions for smooth end-to-end workflow management. The below questions can prove beneficial while evaluating developmental options:
- Do you need a trial approach to gauge whether the system matches the requirements?
- Do you have references of successful developments with the system being considered?
- Are the developers offering customized options?
- Can the solutions be tailor-made to fit specific needs?
- Do the developers offer professional support post-development?
- Is there a provision to add features once the development is complete?
- Are the developers proficient with compliance protocols?
Ensuring that the laboratory information management system is designed and developed based on predictive analysis can create competencies through hospital supply chain optimization. Hospital inventory management software uses a combination of patient and clinical data that enables hospitals to predict the probability of certain consequences through healthcare cloud computing.
Factor Your Costs:
Once the options are evaluated, and the specific development has been identified, the next order of business involves budgeting. The costs involved in developing inventory management software for healthcare are one of the most critical elements. It would be wise to set up a budget and then work within the framework of that budget. Contracts can be drawn up based on cost analysis. Here are a few key questions to consider regarding the cost elements:
- What is the development budget?
- What does the initial implementation cost?
- Are there any licensing costs involved?
- Will there be annual subscription costs?
- Have you factored in surprise costs during the developmental process?
- Have you reviewed the legal and scientific contexts of the contract?
- Do the contracts represent your organization’s best interests?
A laboratory inventory management solution will increase overall revenue generation through a systemized experience that addresses personalized requirements of all health entities. However, it is vital to analyze if the means justify the end. Developmental cost analysis will assist in this matter and provide a precise profit ratio against costs.
Describe Your Specifics:
Just as it is with advanced telehealth solutions, the inventory management process of healthcare organizations is particular. A detailed discussion with the developer toward addressing specific features relative to your lab is a crucial developmental step. Below are some questions that will ensure that the discussion covers every important milestone:
- Does the software need specific configurations?
- Are you looking for custom software development?
- Is the developer taking consistent feedback from potential users?
- Is there room for iterations after a demo is provided?
- Does the functionality represent specific needs?
- Is your organization providing enough details for customization?
- Is there scope beyond the MVP for future needs?
Customizing laboratory inventory management systems eventually provide more personalized care through patient engagement systems. Integrating and automating pharmacy operations offers real-time visibility into inventory purchasing, like classifying medicine quantities across locations and forestalling upcoming shortages.
Train Your Personnel:
As the development process nears completion, it would be prudent that the users are well on their way toward being trained for optimal usage. This process must go hand-in-hand with testing the lab management software. The process defined as ‘user acceptance testing’ will orient lab staff toward the system and also determine its usability across the personnel. Common questions to consider are as follows:
- Have you identified the essential users of the system?
- Have their suggestions and opinions been considered during development?
- Has the developer made modifications based on their feedback?
- Have the specialists developed training documentation and tutorials?
- Is testing executed to ensure robust functioning?
- Is your staff comfortable with using the system?
- Have you adopted a phase-wise testing and training system?
Finally, staff training towards using a database system, where the data of eligible patients is stored through medical informatics, will ensure that the laboratory stock management software is living up to its full potential.
Verify Your Software:
A usual practice with remote health monitoring systems, but also critical with laboratory inventory management software, is verifying the software. The lab inventory systems must undergo a formal verification process based on the regulatory requirements. Ask yourself the below questions to ensure that this step is comprehensively addressed:
- Have the developers undertaken phase-wise testing of the system?
- Is there a specific software verification plan?
- Has this been communicated clearly to all entities involved?
- Has the developer designed particular tests for different aspects of the system?
- Are the test results being accurately documented?
- Will there be a final summary report of all testing and verification?
- Is the technical team the chief designer of the tests?
Healthcare organizations must develop an online lab management system that covers all aspects of compliance and provides an understanding of areas where performance can be enhanced and improved. It should focus on policies and procedures for comprehensiveness and uniformity and automatically update any policy and guideline changes.
Factor In Your Future Needs:
Even though your present laboratory inventory management software should address your organization’s current needs, there should always be room for additions and modifications. For example, you may be using the system at just one location. However, there may arise a need to implement the system at another location in the future. These additions can be considered by answering the below questions:
- Do you have an idea of the specific features you may need to add later?
- Which features can be bundled together for a single development?
- Are there provisions for your future needs?
- Have you communicated a rough timeline for future deployments?
- Has the developer committed to future deployment needs?
- Have you budgeted for future needs?
- Will these new features require further licensing?
Although laboratory inventory management techniques are usually coherent across organizations, automation brings in plenty of variational potentials. Laboratory equipment tracking software can be infused with efficiency through process-flow automation of stocking, numerical balances, monitoring, and tracking, warehouse stock manifests, and dispensing updates.
Adopting a sound methodology toward inventory system deployment can streamline processes and increase profitability. Automation toward operational efficiencies requires intuitive solutions for electronic savings at the stage of medication dispensing. Finally, automation features instantly reduce time and resources spent on managing audits and offer flagging capabilities that minimize fraud and abuse, thus allowing complete compliance.
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Written by Riken Shah linkedin
Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.