Tips for Effective Materials Management in Healthcare

/ By DSI Marketing TeamApril 17, 2023

The supply chain is where the majority of organizational expenditure occurs. Materials management is a process in which the supply chain is optimized and expenditure is lowered. In the healthcare industry, it is essential to always provide the highest quality services and products to patients on a daily basis.

Without this, a healthcare facility may struggle to find organizational success and complete its day-to-day tasks. By correctly implementing a materials management process within a healthcare organization, the organization may reap a range of phenomenal benefits.

Let's have a closer look at what materials management is within the healthcare sector, why it is important, and how a healthcare facility can effectively implement it.

Definition of Materials Management

Materials management is a process that is implemented directly into the supply chain. This form of management ensures that the supply chain is running smoothly and efficiently.

When materials management is effectively conducted, it allows an organization to pinpoint areas of concern within the supply chain. The reason that the supply chain and inventory management aspects of the organization are emphasized so greatly is because of how fundamentally important it is for its total operational success.

Why is Effective Materials Management in Healthcare Important?

Materials management is a key process for any healthcare facility. Many of these organizations suffer great losses on a day-to-day basis. This can come in the form of:

  • Untrusted suppliers
  • Low-quality raw materials
  • Wasted product
  • Ineffective inventory management
  • Lowered efficiency and productivity
  • Inability to meet patient demand.
  • Bottlenecked tasks or inability to complete tasks and processes

This can greatly affect how a healthcare facility operates. These drawbacks often stem directly from issues within the layout of the supply chain.

Materials management aims to change this layout and produce a more productive, and efficient, working environment. When materials management is effectively implemented into the organization, it becomes easier to meet the daily benchmarks that the healthcare industry often demands.

Expenditure is lowered, and processes become faster and more efficient. With the right help from a team, a healthcare facility can greatly strengthen its processes and work toward a more productive and successful future.

Tips for Effective Materials Management in Healthcare

Now that we have had a closer look at what materials management is and how it can greatly benefit a healthcare facility, let's have a closer look at what an organization can do to improve some of the existing systems.

Improving these systems will lower the risk of potential determinants whilst increasing the likelihood of effective and productive success.

Optimize Inventory Levels

Without realizing it, there are many issues within the inventory system of a healthcare organization that may unknowingly affect numerous processes. Ensuring that there is an efficient inventory management system within the organization is an innovative means of approaching this situation.

When inventory levels are accurately tracked and monitored, it allows the organization to cut back on various different expenses whilst also directly meeting the present customer demand.

A healthcare facility can look at implementing a system such as the Kanban system. This is an inventory management system that has proven to be a great tool for many healthcare facilities. It is a visual indicator of stock levels that utilizes a system of two rotating storage bins.

One bin is reserved for medical supplies that have not yet been used, and the other is often empty and awaiting a new order. When one bin fills and the other empties, they are switched. This accurately maintains the inventory level while also lowering the potential risk of wasting valuable medical supplies and financial resources.

Reduce Waste

Waste comes in many different forms. When approaching the issue of waste within a healthcare facility, it is crucial to identify the forms that it may come in. This can include waste in the form of:

  • Movement
  • Overproduction
  • Overprocessing
  • Wasted supplies
  • Transportation of patients and equipment

and a myriad of other potential waste factors. Reducing these forms of waste, by utilizing the Lean methodology, is a great means of ensuring that productivity remains at its absolute peak and that processes can be completed with little to no hassle.

Improve Process Efficiency

The supply chain forms the basis of process efficiency. Many processes rely on the steady flow of raw materials from this facet to function correctly. When these various processes are improved and streamlined, the organization can reap benefits across the board.

These processes include:

  • Inventory management
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Stable storage solutions
  • Good relationships with suppliers
  • Implementing an effective materials management system

Closely analyzing these key facets of the organization is an innovative means of improving the total efficiency at which key processes within the organization function.

Set Up a Materials Management System

With the right help from the right team, an organization can set up an effective materials management system.

As previously discussed, this system is a crucial process to undergo as any healthcare facility can greatly benefit from it. When looking to improve the processes within a healthcare organization, the best way to start is by improving its foundations. This foundation can be found within the supply chain. 

Strengthening the supply chain's many different aspects is an exceptional way of stabilizing the organization's foundation, thus greatly boosting the complete productivity and efficiency within a healthcare facility.

Conduct Regular Inventory Check

Regularly assessing the quality, quantity, and shelf life of inventory within the facility is imperative. In order to deliver quality patient care, a healthcare organization needs to ensure that there is always enough stock on hand to meet the demand, whilst also providing high-quality products to its patients.

When inventory is not routinely checked, these processes may suffer and affect how healthcare professionals deliver care to patients. When inventory is regularly checked to ensure that are no expired materials, it allows healthcare professionals to take greater care of patients. 

Have Distribution Systems International Create an Effective Materials Management Plan for Your Healthcare Facility

At Distribution Systems International, we understand the importance of efficient and effective materials management in healthcare facilities.

Our team of experienced professionals can work with you to create a comprehensive plan that addresses your specific needs and helps you mitigate risks while optimizing your supply chain operations.

With our proven track record of success in healthcare materials management, you can trust us to deliver results that improve your bottom line and enhance patient care.

To schedule a consultation and get started on your path to success, contact us at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

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