Optimal Approaches for Managing Medication Dispensing Inventory

Inventory control is an integral component of running any pharmacy business, enabling the pharmacy to reduce costs, decrease wastefulness and meet regulatory obligations.

Visual Method staff members visually inspect inventory levels to detect when items need reordering, often only realizing this need when it’s too late.

Understanding Your Inventory

Accurate inventory counts are crucial, whether your pharmacy uses automated or manual inventory management processes. Dispensing prescriptions, adding back in when claims are reversed and accounting for National Drug Code changes and shortages all affect stock counts and should all be factored into inventory counts.

Lot tracking enables pharmacies to easily remove medication from the shelf due to expiration or recall, as well as ensure first-in, first-out dispensing by making sure older stock is sold out before new batches arrive.

Offer pharmacy technicians small rewards to encourage them to identify slow-selling or soon-to-expire medications that could be sold back to the wholesaler at discounted rates, or sold to services offering open bottles of medications at lower costs. Conduct regular inventory checks to account for dispensing trends and maintain optimal inventory levels.

Recognition of Expired Pharmaceuticals

The FDA requires medications to have expiration dates stamped on them, and pharmacy staff must regularly identify and dispose of expired medicines from stock. Some drugs, including insulin and oral nitroglycerin, deteriorate quickly after their date stamped, while others remain more stable over time.

Techs should follow the disposal directions listed on drug labels or look for local take-back programs when disposing of medications such as opioids. Mixing them with inedible substances like coffee grounds or kitty litter may make them less appealing to anyone trying to steal or abuse them.

Pharmacy technicians can use electronic pharmacy systems to send alerts and text messages to patients prior to their prescriptions expiring, so that they can notify their pharmacist of a need for refill by responding directly to the letter sent out by pharmacy technicians. This improves practice management and patient engagement while helping ensure pharmacies always have enough medication on hand.

Recognition of High-Risk Pharmaceuticals

Dispensing and stocking certain medications requires extra care. ISMP categorizes high-risk drugs as those which could result in more significant patient harm should an error be made; such drugs include anticoagulants, antipsychotics, oral hypoglycaemic agents/sedatives/insulin/chemotherapy medications/opioids etc.

Chris Manfuso can effectively mitigate errors associated with high-risk medication classes by training hospital staff to properly store, handle, and dispense them. Furthermore, using technology solutions which offer closed-loop reconciliation of items from wholesaler to bedside provides greater insight into inventory management for these drugs.

Accurate and efficient pharmacy operations go far beyond counting bottles. Hiring technicians familiar with technology will help your hospital avoid unnecessary overstocks or shortages that could incur unnecessary costs.

Analyzing Sales Patterns

Maintaining proper medication supply levels is one of the main challenges facing any pharmacy operation, yet staffing limitations often allow this task to slip under the radar, only surfacing once supplies run out or replenishment lead times become too long.

Review sales trends and adjust stock order quantities accordingly. Pharmacies must ensure sufficient hay fever medications in spring and summer while increasing cold/flu medicines inventory in autumn/winter.

Advanced analytics provide the ideal way of tracking these trends. By combining purchase, utilization and automation data together into a complete picture of medication supply chains, advanced analytics provide an effective means to reduce opportunities for human error while offering clear pathways forward.

Implementing Automated Inventory Control

Inventory management aims to lower costs, cut waste, and ensure patients’ safety. Proper inventory control is an integral component of hospital operations; however, for it to succeed it requires knowledge, skills, and technology all working together together for its successful execution.

Modern medication inventory management solutions combine automation and visibility, allowing you to track all warehouses and stock levels in real-time, eliminating manual counts altogether.

An effective inventory management system also enables businesses to detect and react to sales trends – for instance, seasonal increases in OTC hay fever or cold and flu medications may signal increased demand that allows you to better manage inventory levels, adjust order quantities and boost efficiency resulting in substantial savings for both time and money.

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