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by Shaz K

6 Reasons You Need A Medical Inventory System

Wednesday 2, Jan 2019

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In the medical world, where everyone’s focus is providing high-quality patient care, inventory management can turn into a real challenge and, all too often, an afterthought. For some medical companies, inventory management usually means tracking medical supplies and equipment on a spreadsheet or with pen and paper. Over time, these medical inventory systems will almost always become inaccurate and unorganized. 

This problem can be solved with easy-to-use inventory management software. In this article, we’ll discuss six major reasons why you need medical inventory management software.

What is a medical inventory system?

Medical inventory management software empowers healthcare companies to eliminate outdated, inefficient inventory tracking methods and take control of their inventory with the click of a few buttons. Often in the form of an app, the secure, cloud-based system helps teams accurately track their entire medical inventory while keeping tabs on critical information such as supply stock levels, medication expiration dates and equipment maintenance details. This means managers and staff will always know what supplies are available, what medication is about to expire, where equipment is and who’s accountable for it.

Whether you’re a solo practitioner, a medical device and equipment supplier or part of a larger medical facility such as a hospital or urgent care center, automating the inventory process allows you to take the guesswork out of inventory management. By allowing software to do the heavy lifting, you can spend less time worrying about your inventory and more time growing your practice while providing the best care to your patients.

Medical inventory system

Why do I need medical inventory system?

Here are the six major reasons your medical practice needs a modern medical inventory management solution. With the help of medical inventory management software, you can easily:

1. Get a better view of your inventory

2. Save time and reduce operational effort

3. Regain control over your operations

4. Improve accuracy

5. Protect your investments

6. Save time, money and headache by going paperless

1. Get a better view of your inventory

Sometimes, you just need a visual. When you tag and track your inventory using a top inventory management software, you’ll actually be able to view photos of your medical supplies and equipment along with important information like the amount of each supply in stock, what needs to be re-ordered or even what temperature certain medications need to be stored at.

What’s more, inventory management software allows you to always know where equipment is, who currently has it and when it was last used or underwent maintenance. By having a crystal clear view of your inventory, you’ll never again have to worry about running out of key medical supplies, being surprised by expired medication or having lags in patient care due to broken or missing equipment.

Without an automated system in place, it’s extremely challenging for medical inventory information to stay organized. Having to sort through multiple pages of information and constantly update spreadsheets or paper lists makes it next to impossible to keep track of what medical supplies you have, where expensive equipment is and what supplies need to be ordered. Often, care providers and administrators feel a lack of control over their inventory, which not only leads to lost time and money but also to unnecessary stress as well.

Say goodbye to years and years of this lack of control and utter disorganization. Every time you open your inventory app, you’ll get a completely updated, realistic view of what you’ve got, what’s running low and what’s about to expire.

A medical inventory management app shows details about syringes and gauges.

Providence Express Care, a Pacific Northwest network of urgent care clinics, used our inventory management software, Sortly, to empower practice managers to take back control of their inventory–and their clinics, too. (And, as getting organized often does, it also saved them money!)

“Having the order number attached to each item, along with a picture, has been a game-changer for the clinics,” said Brittany, the network’s clinical operations manager. “Our clinics know what they’re getting when they place orders now. And for the clinic that’s been on Sortly the longest, ordering mistakes have been virtually eliminated. That saves us thousands of dollars.”

2. Save time and reduce operational effort with barcodes and QR codes

By letting an inventory management system keep track of your supplies and equipment, staff members spend far less time focused on tedious inventory-related tasks. Rather than having to weed through spreadsheets or paperwork to figure out how much of each supply you have left and when it’s time to order more, an automated system will do this for you.

After all, tracking inventory the old-fashioned way is super time-consuming. Because the stakes in the health-care industry are so high, anything that allows medical professionals and staff to spend more time focused on patient care is a good thing.

When it comes to inventory management, having to scroll through unorganized spreadsheets, search through boxes for supplies, or perform manual inventory counts all eat into valuable time that administrators, doctors or nurses could be spending with patients.

After scanning inventory into the system, you’ll know exactly how much of each supply you have and receive an alert when it’s time to re-order. In addition to knowing what you have in your inventory, you’ll also know exactly where it’s being kept. No more wasting time digging through closets trying to find the last box of gloves.

Plus, with in-app barcode and QR code scanning, staying organized is simple. No special equipment that just breaks anyway required! Simply use the camera on your smartphone to instantly learn more about an item in your inventory. Did you know that relying on barcodes to keep medication straight reduced administrative errors by more than 40%?

Providence Express Care experienced major relief when it automated its inventory process. Integrating Sortly into daily operations has allowed the clinics to redirect their attention toward their patients.

“Even though supplies are so integral to our work, they are not our focus,” said the clinical operations manager, Brittany. “Our focus is on the patient.”

A medical inventory app is used on a smartphone to scan a box of needles via QR code.

3. Regain control over your operations

Having an automated system for your medical inventory means you can focus on your business while feeling confident that your inventory needs are being met. By minimizing the mental and physical constraints that traditional inventory practices have on care providers and administrators, all staff members are able to give attention to more important things, such as patient needs.

Additionally, since multiple staff members have access to inventory data, everyone will always know what supplies are in stock and where important equipment is.

Any company in the healthcare industry will tell you that working as a team is crucial to providing excellent patient care. Not surprisingly, this also translates into a medical company’s inventory management system.

Traditional inventory tracking systems are typically only visible to one person, don’t work on mobile devices and cannot connect to the cloud. This makes it challenging for staff and care providers to keep information in sync. In order for inventory management software to be effective, multiple staff members need to have access to the system across multiple devices. This allows the team to oversee information on the go, always know where they can find equipment or supplies and make changes when necessary.

A healthcare provider uses a tablet to pull the correct medical product off a shelf.

Unfortunately, not all inventory software is intuitive and easy to use. When adopting new medical management inventory software, it’s important to consider how easy it will be for staff to learn the system. Without user-friendly software in place, employees may feel discouraged and fail to use the system consistently. Since regular use is key in maintaining accurate inventory information, some medical companies are afraid to invest in an inventory management system that their staff has difficulty navigating or is reluctant to use.

But Sortly was built by engineers with non-engineers in mind.

Said one happy company from Texas:

“The Sortly platform is so user friendly. We were all really impressed with how quickly we were able to train the staff to use the system and easily integrate the program into the rest of our business.”

4. Improve accuracy

Replacing spreadsheets or paper trails with inventory management software means a huge increase in inventory accuracy. There is less chance for human error when it comes to keeping track of stock levels, expiration dates or equipment maintenance.

And having a secure, cloud-based system connected to a mobile app means you will get updated inventory information in real time. When supplies are restocked or equipment is checked out, all users who have access to the system can view the changes right away. This means doctors, nurses and administrators can avoid confusion or miscommunication when it comes to inventory updates.

It’s no surprise that improving accuracy can also help small private practices and large hospital networks alike improve security and compliance. Because many health care professionals have access to controlled substances, it is required by law for care providers, medical clinics, hospitals and pharmacies to report any controlled substances that have been lost or misplaced. Without an accurate, up-to-date inventory system, medical companies can be vulnerable to safety issues due to theft and legal liabilities if records are ever requested by a federal agency.

A healthcare provider uses a tablet to help her check medical inventory.

5. Protect your investments

Regaining control of your inventory means you can protect your investments–from your staff’s precious time to that expensive genetic testing kit.

For any healthcare company, having to replace instruments or equipment that have been lost or misplaced is extremely costly. Since effective medical inventory management software lets you track where equipment is and who’s accountable for it, you’re able to protect your investment in the medical equipment and instruments that allow you to provide stellar patient care.

Even though the main objective in healthcare is to provide the best patient care possible, your practice is still a business. Expired medications and missing medical equipment all translate into money that is lost. It’s easy to overlook expiration and maintenance dates and experience difficulty keeping tabs on equipment when inventory isn’t properly tagged and tracked. These oversights may also result in medical companies ordering supplies or purchasing expensive equipment they don’t need, which ultimately takes a toll on your medical company’s finances.

A surgery center filled with medical supplies and equipment.

6. Save time, money and headache by going paperless

A visual inventory management system not only helps you keep inventory information more organized, but it also allows you to go paperless. Making the move to help the environment while improving accuracy, increasing workflow optimization and providing more time for patient care is a true win-win.

It’s also better for your brain. Simplify your medical practice’s every day operations by choosing a modern, intuitive inventory management system that won’t drive you mad.

One big reason Providence Express Care needed to get organized ASAP? Clinics were running out of essential supplies and either mistakenly over-ordering the wrong items or asking a neighboring clinic’s employee to drop what they’re doing and drive over the supplies. This wasted precious time and resources.

“That isn’t sustainable,” said the clinical operations manager.

Fortunately, with the right medical inventory management software, your medical practice can start focusing on patients, profits and productivity–not stuff.


Medical inventory is visualized on smartphones and a laptop.

Sortly is a super simple inventory and asset tracking system that enables you to visually track all your items and any of their details including quantity, price, condition, notes etc —for a more intuitive (and less maddening) way for your team to track your inventory across multiple locations.

Unlike other inventory tracking systems, you won’t need any lengthy sales visits or a 100-page guide to figure out Sortly. It’s built so you can have it up and running in minutes, all on your own.

It’s time to say goodbye to lost assets, complicated spreadsheets and time-consuming “solutions” so you can spend less time inventorying and more time businessing.

Try Sortly for free today!