How to Manage Medical Inventory (Including a Medical Supply Inventory List Template)
Whether opening up a new medical practice or just getting your existing practice reorganized, maintaining an accurate medical inventory list is essential. After all, even if you run a small practice, you’ve got tons of supplies, materials, and high-value assets like equipment and machinery to keep track of.
In this article, we’ll help you learn the basics of how to manage medical inventory—and even provide a medical supply inventory list template to help you get started.
Steps to Managing Medical Inventory
Deciding how to best manage your medical practice’s inventory is a complex process, especially when you are launching a new practice. Here are a few key steps to get you started.
1. Decide what medical inventory to buy
Once you’ve gotten your office organized, make a list of everything you may already have on hand or will need to acquire to fully stock your medical office.
While your medical practice’s specialty will dictate much of your inventory list, there are many items that just about every medical practice needs to have on hand. These essentials include items such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, cotton swabs, syringes, common medications, procedural trays, and materials for sanitizing workspaces.
You’ll also need to purchase some long-term assets, like computers, exam room tables, wheelchairs, and places for your employees and patients to sit. Depending on your practice’s specialty, you may also need to invest in certain medical equipment and machinery, such as an MRI or X-ray machine.
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As you decide what your medical practice needs to stock, create your own comprehensive medical inventory list. You can do this in a few different ways: on a sheet of paper, with a medical inventory spreadsheet, or directly into an inventory app.
Regardless of what inventory management system you select, you’ll need to record all the essential details about every item in your inventory. This includes the item name, SKU, serial number, location, minimum quantity, cost, quantity in stock, and any other details that matter to you.
Each medical inventory management system has its own benefits and drawbacks. Using a medical supply inventory spreadsheet can be great for beginners, but spreadsheets have some limitations and can be vulnerable to human error. (To help you get started, we’ve included a medical supply inventory list template below in this article.)
A manual inventory management system can be tedious, difficult to secure, and a challenge to access remotely. Plus, as your medical practice grows, tracking your inventory by hand can quickly become unsustainable.
Inventory apps, also known as inventory management software, can be an excellent choice for small, medium, and large medical practices. These collaborative apps allow you to track inventory stored in many places and can warn you when you’re running low on something or a product is approaching expiration.
3. Set low stock alerts, warranty end, and expiry date reminders
If using a spreadsheet to track your medical inventory and equipment, you’ll need to find a system to keep track of important dates, too. You should set calendar reminders for reordering inventory, warranty ends, and expiration dates.
If that process sounds daunting, try medical inventory management software that can automate these reminders. For example, Sortly will alert you (via notification, email, or both) that you’re running low on certain inventory, or that items in your inventory are approaching their warranty end or expiration date.
4. Keep your medical inventory list updated
If you choose to use a spreadsheet to manage your medical inventory, you’ll need to decide when your team will physically count your supplies, materials, and equipment. Some practices conduct physical inventory counts daily, while others conduct them weekly or even monthly.
If you are transferring inventory information from a printed out medical inventory list to a template, you’ll want to fill out your spreadsheet very carefully. That’s because many data entry errors occur during this process.
If you don’t want to physically count inventory over and over again, you can switch to a perpetual inventory system instead. Using an inventory app like Sortly, you can simply check items “in” and “out” as they move locations or are consumed. This way, your inventory is always accurate—–and you’ll likely conduct only end-of-year inventory counts to audit your inventory and assets.
Whether your business just wants a medical office inventory checklist or is looking for a template to get started, Sortly’s free medical inventory spreadsheet is a great place to start. To help you get organized, we’ve prepopulated some of the most popular medical supplies right onto the template.
Feel free to customize and add to this template to account for your practice’s unique inventory. If you decide to upgrade to Sortly’s inventory app in the future, you’ll be able to bulk import this data easily.
Sortly is a top-rated inventory app perfect for medical practices of all shapes and sizes. Easy to use on a phone, tablet, or computer, Sortly automates just about every aspect of medical inventory management, from checking items in and out to alerting you exactly when it’s time to order more cotton swabs or extend the warranty on an ultrasound machine.
With tools like a barcode/QR code reader, a robust inventory dashboard, and customizable reports, your medical practice can finally take its medical inventory management to the next level. And if you’re not ready to try Sortly just yet, you’ll be able to upload your medical inventory spreadsheet right to Sortly whenever you’d like.