Hospital inventory management software:
architecture, features, and platforms

Hospital inventory management software: architecture, features, and platforms

June 29, 2023

the global HIMS market size by 2027

ReportLinker

global HIMS market CAGR, 2022 - 2027

Mordor Intelligence

annual healthcare system cost saving due to increased automation

CAQH Index 2022

Main features of hospital inventory management software

Main features of hospital inventory management software
  • Real-time tracking of drugs, medical supplies, and equipment in stock
  • Generating unique barcodes with an item locator
  • Enabling alerts on supply levels, expiration, and reorder
  • Setting low stock alerts for critical items
  • Managing medical supply data (ID, price, intended use description, etc.)
  • Counting medical supply usage cycles for forecasting demand
  • Controlling medical supply allocation
  • Viewing activity history of medications
  • Controlling and analyzing equipment use
  • Viewing activity history of medical equipment
  • Controlling medical device allocation
  • Setting up automated expiration dates control
  • Enabling automatic alerts of equipment maintenance dates and warranty ends
  • Monitoring drug and medical supply cost
  • Creating lists of orders with required quantities
  • Enabling inventory minimums for every item
  • Streamlining procurement strategies
  • Providing role-based user access
  • Enabling just-right access to all care team members
  • Ensuring HIPAA compliance
  • Setting up the rules for creating discrepancy reports
  • Viewing all inventory data on a user-friendly dashboard
  • Creating custom fields to track any available detail
  • Creating customized reports for different user roles
  • Generating consumption reports for the past 30-60 days
  • Demand forecasting for drugs and supplies

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Inventory management solution architecture

Hospital inventory management tools comprise three essential components:

  • A web and mobile application that lets nurses and clinicians interact with the inventory effectively
  • A connected ecosystem for item tracking and status monitoring
  • Integrations with hospital software in place that power informed decisions

Web and mobile solution

A regular hospital inventory software is a web application consisting of three layers or tiers:
UsersModel interfaceForms & scriptsGraph toolsResults analysisPresentation tierXML/HTTPCentral serverServer tierXML/SQLDatabaseData warehouseExternal data sourcesData tierUsersModel interfaceForms & scriptsGraph toolsResults analysisPresentation tierXML/HTTPCentral serverServer tierXML/SQLDatabaseData warehouseExternal data sourcesData tier

Scheme title: Web/mobile app architecture
Data source: researchgate.net — A software architecture for inventory management system

Customer spotlight

Medical equipment management software

400

blood centers use the tool

Our medical software developers created an inventory management solution for a med tech company. The tool collects, stores, and processes large blood volumes for labs and blood centers. The team also developed a separate module for uniting devices from different manufacturers in a station which streamlined device traceability.

A medical device tracking database

100,000

accessible defibrillators

Itransition’s team developed a web app providing doctors, defibrillator owners, ambulance specialists, and admins with real-time data on defibrillators available nearby. The owners can register their device, access type (public or restricted), location, and status (in or out of service). In addition, our team enabled regular synchronization between the central database and the local ambulance systems.

Top hospital inventory management platforms

Effective inventory management has always been a pain point for medical facilities. As a result, some vendors have developed full-scale systems to alleviate the challenge for healthcare organizations. Here are five platforms to consider:

The Salesforce Health Cloud platform facilitates healthcare operations and workflows, including medical facility inventory management. Authorized users can view all medicine and medical supplies items necessary for each patient visit and their location and are notified of any shortfalls to address in advance. They can request a transfer of the required medication or equipment from another provider's facility when needed. Users then capture product serial numbers on-site for order authorization and scan barcodes for more efficient inventory tracking. The solution is HIPAA and 21 CFR Part 11 compliant and supports advanced triaging.

Pricing
  • Enterprise: $300 user/month
  • Unlimited: $450 user/month
  • Free trial available

Implementation roadmap

A step-by-step implementation of a hospital inventory management project includes the following actions:

1

Requirements gathering & system design

Identifying functional and non-functional requirements and user roles
Selecting the system’s type and required tech stack
Designing solution architecture

2

Project planning

Defining the scope and duration of work and potential risks
Setting the project’s milestones, objectives, and KPIs
Calculating the solution’s expected TCO and ROI

3

System development

Developing web and mobile solutions
Verification and stabilization

4

System integrations

Integrating inventory with other business-critical solutions (CRM, ERP)
Integrating with BI tools for reporting and visualization
Testing the integrations

5

Data migration

Working out a migration scenario, data mappings, and automation scripts
Extracting data from a legacy solution
Validating data quality
Loading the data into a new system and verifying it

6

Solution deployment

Setting up digital infrastructure
Monitoring the system’s work in real life
Handling upcoming issues and change requests
Deploying the final solution across all targeted facilities

7

User training

Designing a plan to integrate the system into involved specialists’ workflows
Drafting software and hardware administrator guides
Running workshops for different user groups

8

Post-launch maintenance & support

Ensuring prolonged user support
Implementing system updates to meet changing business needs

Benefits of hospital inventory management systems

Automated hospital inventory management offers providers a range of benefits that help solve critical industry challenges.

Expenditure control

A hospital inventory management solution reduces excessive purchases "for a rainy day" and stockouts to a minimum and helps to keep increasing expenses at bay.

Improved visibility

Inventory management software powered by healthcare IoT capabilities enables healthcare providers to track inventory and stock levels in real time.

Access control

Hospital administrators gain more control over inventory access and ensure that only authorized employees can view and handle certain information.

Streamlined workflows

Automated inventory management allows clinicians and nurses to clearly view the key attributes of their tasks, namely who is responsible, what they should do, and when.

Upscaled medical staff productivity

Advanced search functions and barcode scanning for data entry allow medical staff to find what they need much faster, which improves their productivity.

Reduced drug waste

Automated monitoring of drug expiry dates minimizes medication waste, resulting in cost savings.

Enhanced data analytics

Such solutions let medical facilities keep track of inventory levels, detect patterns, and forecast demand. It helps prevent stockpiling and stockouts and lower hospital inventory costs.

Improved security

Hospital inventory management solutions support multi-factor user authentication and comply with HIPAA to ensure data security.

Challenges of hospital inventory management and potential solutions

Challenges

Solutions

System cost

Challenges

Implementation of hospital inventory management systems can require hefty investments.

Challenges

Solutions

Select an inventory management tool according to your practice needs and the available budget. Subscription-based solutions can be a good option for a limited budget as they don’t require high initial payments, but the TCO can grow in the long run. Meanwhile, a custom solution requiring higher initial investments can be more cost-efficient. Itransition’s experts can help you choose and implement a HIMS solution that fits your clinic best.

Lack of data ready to import

Challenges

Doctors and nurses often prepare charge captures and preference cards manually. As a result, it can cause inconsistencies and errors in the inventory management system.

Challenges

Solutions

Data quality should be verified before migrating inventory data to a new inventory management system. Assigning this task to doctors and nurses can be inefficient due to their excessive professional load and human factor limitations. Instead, healthcare inventory solution providers can review customer's data and identify incomplete or erroneous data and duplicates. Then the customer can fix those bugs effectively and swiftly.

Lack of efficient reporting

Challenges

Without an inventory management solution, hospital employees have to spend much time creating progress reports manually, but this reporting method is prone to errors and erroneous conclusions.

Challenges

Solutions

A hospital inventory management solution provides automated report generation. Users can select necessary parameters and set a time frame to get insightful reports in minutes. Automated reports give clinicians more time to focus on their professional tasks, increasing productivity.

User adoption

Challenges

As a rule, key system users can have difficulties during onboarding due to their lack of computer skills and resistance to change. They’ve learned how to manage inventory manually and have gotten used to the hurdles, and now with the new tool, they have to relearn.

Challenges

Solutions

HIMS tool providers offer user training and onboarding manuals for different user roles to smoothen the process. In addition, they stay with their customers post-launch to tackle any potential challenges with the inventory management system.

Time to revitalize your hospital’s inventory management

Time to revitalize your hospital’s inventory management

Providers and medical personnel deal with various challenges daily, and an effective inventory management system can help mitigate many of them and reduce their detrimental effects. Besides lowering the inventory cost, hospitals can allocate additional funds to solving other critical issues. A solid hospital inventory management solution helps improve the quality of patient care and streamline supply-related operations. If you need to bring your inventory management to a new level, Itransition’s experts are here to help.

Time to revitalize your hospital’s inventory management

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FAQ

How can we manage hospital inventory?

Is inventory management critical for a hospital?