Is Your Medical Supply Inventory an Administrative Nightmare?
Growth in Numbers, Need for Technology
Residential health care has grown dramatically as more baby boomers age and have conditions that require this level of care.
Other populations ranging from persons on the spectrum to those individuals who require extended care for a wide variety of conditions are also growing.
Building and staffing large-scale organizations has presented some issues, but some of the most critical issues were unforeseen.
This include record-keeping and reporting, especially with a growing concern for security of information and rising expectations for levels of quality care have generated great difficulties for residential care organization.
That is due to the fact that while the total population is growing and more facilities with larger numbers of residents are coming online, the understanding and adoption of the technology needed to handle it has lagged. Part of this is due to the origin of residential care.
Outside of quasi-military facilities, like those set up by the Veterans’ Administration, most residential care organizations were originally small local “homes” or “manors.”
These catered to one of two totally diverse populations – indigents who were housed in community, county or state supported sites and those with the means to be cared for in expensive private facilities.
Most were almost literally “cottage industry” style organizations, with little or no need to report to higher levels of authority. That transformed with some significant social changes in the three decades after World War II.
That period saw steep population growth (the Baby Boom), governmental withdrawal from direct service of residential units and the simultaneous growth of federal and state funding to those who operate those facilities.
It also saw the growth of technology – the potential for electronic record-keeping and, later, the development of online commerce and sharing of information.
Issues That Developed
While physical growth may be good, the lack of experience and lack of interest in changing from paper record systems has created many potential nightmares for residential facility owners and managers.
Cost control has become imperative in every facet of the business but the lack of appropriate technology or its acceptance, particularly in inventory control and its integration with other systems, including those for effective ERH, have hampered efficiency.
Efficient technology is the only way to manage both cost and meet those expectations of residents, relatives and caretakers have grown as has Government regulation and demands for more secure information and response to advocate demands for “better care.”
How to Avoid Nightmares
Administrators need to make the acceptance of change a key part of their operating philosophy. “Penny-wise and pound foolish” avoidance of adopting advanced technology and integration of all systems is the surest route to problems, particularly in the area of medical supplies.
Without the effectiveness of an integrated system, it is highly likely that any residential care organization can count can on problems ranging from not having enough supplies to having the wrong items to paying too much.
Doing the research to find the right electronic systems and integrations is critical for efficient and financially responsible operations going forward.
AdminiCare by InBeam is a sophisticated, affordable medical supplies inventory system that allows for easy, accurate and complete integration with ordering, supply and billing for residential care facilities.