The challenges of today’s management of health care assets

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The challenges of today’s management of health care assets

Asset Inventory Management

Health and medical care rely heavily on material, supplies and assets to help and revive patients in need. The average Swedish hospital spends a significant part of its overall expenditures on assets each year, enabling their medical staff to give patients the best care possible. Such an important part of health care requires efficient handling methods. However, the methods used in managing assets in the hospital setting today pose unnecessary challenges.

Challenge 1: Inventory takes too much time and energy

Most hospitals do both continuous inventory throughout the year and a larger, yearly inventory depending on the assets. These inventories are carried out by the hospital personnel and are often done by hand, resulting in a tremendous amount of work for the staff. The yearly inventory can even take several weeks depending on the size of the hospital.

Challenge 2: The human factor increases risk of errors

Taking inventory and keeping track of assets by hand could, because of the human factor, increase the risk of errors and miscalculations. There are difficulties in holding a continuous inventory in a reliable way of the products in need. These mistakes can cost hospitals a great deal of money and in the worst cases, could be a threat to patient care.

Challenge 3: Lack of overview decreases patient safety

The present inventory system makes it harder to have an overview of which items are available and the number of each item. In turn, this leads to not being able to accurately register if items go missing or are moved to a different location. Nurses can consequently spend up to 30% of their time searching for assets, time that would have been better spent on patients. In addition, when regarding vital assets, having exact knowledge of their whereabouts is crucial to ensure patient safety.

Challenge 4: Inaccurate inventory lists affect costs

It’s not uncommon that hospital assets are unutilized for more than half of their lifespan since there’s no stable way of knowing how much each asset is being utilized or which asset is being utilized the most. When hospitals order assets, not having a detailed and updated inventory list, this could result in redundant purchases or rentals being made.

Medical assets are a fundamental part of health care and should efficiently facilitate the best patient care. Unfortunately, managing and properly inventorying assets are often forgotten today. Spending time, energy and money on obsolete handling methods when better options are available seems unnecessary. We at BordaTex think health care should have its focus on healthcare, not administrative tasks. So, for the wellbeing of the hospital staff and most importantly the patients, we aim to turn these challenges into solutions.


Foto av Anna Shvets från Pexels

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