Emergency medical services (EMS) have always been a vital part of any community, and with today’s pandemic, they have become even more essential. For some, they are the thin line between life and death. EMS responders have been working tirelessly since the pandemic started. Some are already used to the workload caused by the increasing number of infected people, while some are still struggling.
Emergency medical services have two things to be mindful of each time an emergency arises. It is to respond to said emergency immediately with all the necessary equipment, and to monitor what goes out and goes back every time.
Manual tracking and accounting of all equipment and supplies is both confusing and exhausting, to say the least. Even on regular days, EMS are called out to multiple locations to help. Every time EMS responders go out, they will bring supplies and equipment to help them treat patients or to provide first aid before transporting them to a hospital. In situations like this, keeping supplies and equipment is the least of their worries, which sometimes leads them to accidentally leaving essential items on the scene.
Using the traditional way of inventory management, accounting for missing items is difficult. Making use of a tool that can keep up with the fast-paced environment the EMS is facing every day would be very beneficial.
EMS Inventory Management System
There are hundreds of EMS inventory management systems. If you’re tired of inventory problems and ready to invest in an inventory management system that can make everything easier. The common features of an IMS are inventory control, barcoding, accessibility, etc., but you have to look out for certain IMS that has the following features:
- Centralized inventory management
- Easy monitoring of expiration dates
- Inventory movement history
- Inventory Visibility
Centralized inventory management
This helps keep everything synchronized, especially when there are multiple locations to manage and multiple users that update the system simultaneously.
Easy monitoring of expiration dates
With the expiry date monitoring feature, expired supplies will be a thing of the past. You can prioritize using items that are about to expire and reorder to replenish expired goods to make sure essential items are always available.
Inventory movement history
Stocking each mobile, replenishing low-level supplies, and counting supplies and equipment right after an emergency needs to be tracked each day. With the help of the Activity History, you can also check what comes out and comes back from a vehicle, or anything for that matter, to make sure everything is accounted for.
Lack of visibility is a common problem faced not just by EMS but also other businesses. This is also a feature missing from most inventory management systems.
Inventory visibility is knowing what inventory you have in what location, at any given moment. This is a vital feature, especially for EMS inventory management. In times of emergency, you will never know who took which items from what location or storage, and if something goes missing, no one will be accounted for and will just be assumed as a loss.
Inventory visibility allows for accurate information as it relates to inventory levels and locations, accountability, and data-driven decisions.
The EMS industry has been a great support in the healthcare sector but EMS responders are getting over worked and people who manage the resources are exhausted in keeping track of supply and equipment every day. Inventory management is an underestimated but key component to the success of an EMS.
Whether traditional or innovative approaches to managing inventory, you must consider things that can make everything easier not only for inventory managers but also for the responders. Tracking, monitoring, and accounting in a fast-paced environment without missing anything is simply impossible. You need something such as inventory management software to look after supplies, equipment, and multi-locations.
EMS inventory management is as important as having enough people and equipment.