One of the biggest failures we see in maintaining accurate asset inventory is a breakdown in communication between departments. Many hospitals or health systems have a biomed record and a separate financial ledger — these records frequently don’t match, nor do they have a common unique ID to reconcile the lists.
Who needs to be informed and when?
Several departments are generally involved in managing capital inventory on one level or another, and it’s important they all stay on the same page.
Biomed is generally considered the key stakeholder for capital assets, but some hospitals break this down even further by department or facility. If you don’t have a coordinated record under a single umbrella, it’s entirely possible to have completely different records in one wing compared to another.
Do you know which is accurate? This is essential for dispositions, replacement requests, service requests, and additions to active inventory.
Finance and Accounting
Take these changes one step up the ladder and we often see a failure to communicate effectively with financial departments. It’s essential for Finance to have an accurate record for a number of reasons, including maintaining financial statements and appropriate insurance coverage, as well as approving future purchases and budgets.
A breakdown here can leave hospitals with inflated asset values on the balance sheet and subject to penalties during audits.
Warehouse and Shipping
It’s also important to keep warehouse and dock staff looped into the master inventory system. Assets sitting in storage that should have been removed take up valuable, sometimes expensive, space that could be allocated for better resources.
And when assets are physically removed (not just retired from service), it’s essential for this to be communicated back to the hospital’s master financial records, as well.
How does your team communicate changes?
Most hospitals have a regulated disposition process, though methods often break down easily due miscommunication or a lack of protocol compliance.
We see a lot of disposition processes use paper or digital forms passed from one department to the next for approvals. But these easily get lost in crowded inboxes, or forgotten on long to-do lists.
It’s important to have a method of both delivering approval forms to the correct stakeholders at the right time, as well as transparency for others to know where a request is throughout the process. These details can be difficult to track via email, and sometimes require an entire staffing role just to maintain process compliance.
A simpler, more effective method is a single software platform that connects all key stakeholders to one master database.
But few hospitals use such systems, leaving them to manually update multiple records and accumulating inconsistencies over time. This then requires periodic re-processing of complete inventory, which takes away precious time and financial resources.
Improve Communication and Process Compliance
Such a software solution DOES exist, though.
BidMed’s inventory management system integrates key stakeholders across all departments on one platform. The system connects them to a single master database and includes a customizable disposition workflow that notifies the right people at the right time — both by email and within the online portal.
Plus, a disposition dashboard tailored by user account improves transparency throughout the process, letting everyone know the next step required.
No more losing forms or forgetting who’s responsible next. And no more disconnect between multiple inventory records. Everything is accessible in one place with BidMed’s SMS.