Inventory reconciliation projects involve validating a facility’s physical inventory against its records. It ensures a facility’s records accurately reflect actual inventory, removing phantom assets and adding equipment not recorded at acquisition.
Assessments can also help hospital teams review equipment workflows and make adjustments as needed. Nothing will throw your capital equipment ledger out of alignment like a breakdown in process compliance.
Why are inventory reconciliations important?
Accurate inventory records are important for more than just patient care. They’re also essential for financial reporting and audit compliance, plus planning purchases and streamlining capital budgets.
Inventory reconciliations also help optimize the equipment management and HTM processes. Periodic assessments help ensure accountability and control throughout equipment workflows. Comparing records with actual inventory lets hospitals identify patterns and correct issues with process compliance.
When should I do an inventory reconciliation?
Inventory reconciliations are important any time records no longer match actual equipment on-site. However, there are a few particularly important times hospitals may need to reconcile their capital asset ledger.
Here are 6 reasons you may want to complete an inventory audit:
1. Stay on Top of Financial Reporting & GAAP Compliance
There’s no escaping financial reporting, but the process doesn’t have to be a headache. When you trust your records and equipment management workflows, reporting can be almost as simple as exporting a file.
If you lack confidence in your current records, an inventory reconciliation gets you started with accurate data. Our team of specialists makes this process quick and easy. Final reports not only update current records, but discrepancies can highlight breakdowns in management workflows.
Once inventory records are up to date, you may want to assess ongoing workflow processes. Software like Helix Workflow+ also helps automate and simplify capital equipment management moving forward.
2. Prepare for DNV, HFAP, & TJC Accreditation Surveys
Commitment to high-quality patient care is essential for modern hospitals, and accreditation demonstrates this to patients and potential providers alike. But surveys associated with accreditation often throw a wrench in facility operations, pulling team resources away from their primary objectives.
Accreditation surveys don’t have to be a hassle, though. The easiest way to reduce friction is to stay on top of documentation and records, including capital equipment. If your capital asset ledger has become inaccurate over time, you may want to outsource a reconciliation.
Inventory reconciliations produce a complete record of actual capital equipment, removing phantom assets and revealing discrepancies that have developed over time. Hospitals can then prepare for audits and accreditation, as well as make changes to optimize future workflows.
3. Make Capital Equipment Planning and HTM More Effective
Knowing what equipment is available for use is essential for capital equipment planning. Many hospitals lose track of equipment they have in storage, leading to unnecessary purchases that bloat already tight hospital budgets.
Completing an inventory assessment and reconciliation confirms what assets are available at your facility. For larger health systems, this also enables internal transfers — moving equipment where it’s needed, rather than purchasing new assets. Your healthcare technology management team will thank you.
4. Keep Insurance Coverage and Maintenance Contracts Up to Date
Many American hospitals are overpaying for insurance and maintenance contracts on equipment that doesn’t even exist at their facilities. This happens when there’s a breakdown in communication between clinical engineering and finance during equipment dispositions. Periodic inventory reconciliations ensure accurate coverage for both insurance policies and maintenance contracts.
5. Update Your CMMS
Technology is constantly changing with new, better software systems emerging on the market. If you’re looking to update your CMMS, you’ll want to start with an accurate equipment list. A comprehensive inventory reconciliation ensures a fresh start with complete and accurate data.
6. Plan for Hospital or Health System Changes
Whether growing, downsizing, or merging facilities, redundancy reports are essential for equipment planning. A fresh inventory reconciliation ensures you know what equipment exists where. Then you can reallocate assets, make new purchases, or remove unnecessary equipment.
How do inventory reconciliation projects work?
Our inventory reconciliation services involve a team of specialists arriving on-site to complete the project. We thoroughly inventory every area of your facility, validate data in real-time, and provide a comprehensive final record. Our team utilizes our own software and mobile app to help speed up the process. We can capture and verify more data points in less time.
There are four main phases to our inventory reconciliation projects:
1. Upload Initial Equipment List and Coordinate with Your Team
Once we’ve received your initial equipment list, our team coordinates with your staff on-site to plan access to essential areas. We are experienced working in active care environments, completing projects with professionalism and minimal disruption to patient care.
2. Validate All Capital Equipment On-Site
Using our custom app and integrated software, our specialists validate all equipment on-site. This includes processing barcodes, recording essential equipment details, and adding images of important information (such as serial plates).
3. Assess Data in Real-Time During the Project
While our equipment specialists work, project managers keep tabs on the process and clean data in real-time. This helps assess progress, ensure efficiency, and minimize time post-project to deliver final records. We also keep you updated throughout the project with open communication and mid-project reports.
4. Deliver Comprehensive Final Reports
Once finished on-site, we prepare data for your final records. We also provide reports including all assets on-site broken down by three categories:
- Verified Assets — equipment included on the initial list AND found on-site
- Unverified Assets — equipment on the initial list but NOT found on-site
- New Adds — equipment NOT on the initial list, but found on-site
These reports are available as CSV, XLSX, or PDF downloads, as well as in the Workflow+ dashboard for Helix subscribers.
Move Forward with Complete Inventory Confidence
At the end of the day, inventory reconciliation is a crucial process to ensure a facility’s records accurately reflect actual inventory. Completing an inventory assessment and reconciliation confirms what assets are available at a facility. It both eliminates phantom assets and adds equipment that may have been missed at the time of acquisition. These records are vital for financial reporting, audit compliance, capital equipment planning, and more.
By comparing records with existing inventory, hospitals can also identify patterns and correct issues with workflow process compliance. From there, HTM and biomed teams can optimize equipment management processes and minimize the need for future from-scratch inventory assessments.
At BidMed, we offer comprehensive inventory reconciliation services. Our on-site team of specialists uses custom software and our mobile app to expedite the process. These tools let us capture and validate more data points in less time. Final data and reports are delivered in weeks, not months, so you can stay focused on what matters most.