Top Attributes Unique to Pharmacy Inventory Services

  1. Robust Inventory and Extensive Reporting Look for a partner that can provide a robust valuation report using acquisition costs from wholesaler purchase history and direct contracts. Valuations should include GPO, AWP, WAC, and 340B pricing, if the necessary information to enable these valuations is provided by your system. The partner should also be able to provide highly accurate inventory valuations, as well as year-over-year comparison reports (for repeat customers) that help reduce over- under-stocking. Valuation reports should also include:
    • Location, quantity, package size, manufacturer, NDC#, generic name, strength, form, trade name, class, unit price, therapeutic class reporting, and extended price.
    • Documentation of test count detail for internal and external auditors.
    • Summary and detailed reports (exportable in several formats including Microsoft Excel).
    • Unmatched reports that identify items without a matching reference in your item master or PO history. The unmatched reports do not value these items.
    Also consider the need for prompt, secure, and unbiased reports Seek out a partner that can provide reports to you within 3-10 business days of project completion. Highly complex projects may take longer, but if this is the case, the partner should be able to provide a detailed timeline. Make sure to ask if they foresee any longer timelines based on your needs. Also, ensure the partner provides reports through a secure portal. Finally, look for a partner that can provide impartial audits (with no bias toward manufacturers or distributors).
  2. Inventory Services for the Entire Hospital or Health System The partner should be able to conduct inventory counts in all areas of your hospital including cardiac cath labs, interventional radiology, and electrophysiology; suites like OR and cardiovascular OR; and departments like cystoscopy, ocular, orthopedics, anesthesia, endovascular, neurology, pharmacy; and areas such as storerooms and warehouses. Also, look for a partner that can conduct inventory counts in off-site clinics and ambulatory surgery centers. Having one partner that can service all of these areas leads to significant time and cost savings.
  3. Expired Inventory Management and Quality Assurance Look for a clinical inventory service partner that focuses on accuracy and quality by using experienced staff members, barcode scanning, and engages in proactive activities to spot red flags, such as comparing findings to previous counts. Also, seek out a partner that checks expiration dates on all inventory, and that flags and pulls those items. The partner should also provide a report indicating where expired items were found, enabling your health system can identify potential problem areas.

Other Important Attributes for Your Pharmacy Inventory Service Provider

  1. Certified, Credentialed, and Compliant Look for a healthcare-specific partner with certified and credentialed inventory specialists and request that your partner provides a current Certificate of Insurance and W-9. The partner should also readily demonstrate their ability to adhere to your health system’s policies and procedures, as well as city, state, and federal requirements. They should also comply with any applicable COVID-19 mandates, including testing.
  2. Customized Pricing and Programs Seek out a clinical inventory services partner that is eager to work with you to create a customized plan that best meets your needs and top priorities. The best partners will quickly understand your challenges and provide solutions. They will also share savings opportunities, such as rate lock offers for multi-year service agreements. This type of agreement has other perks, including saving you time and resources in the long-term, because the partner will become very familiar with your systems, policies, and priorities.
  3. Superior Customer Service and Project Management Look for a partner that will provide an experienced and dedicated project manager. This individual should serve as your partner throughout the project and oversee key deliverables and milestones, such as planning meetings prior to on-site counts, including a demo of their portal and an overview of key roles and responsibilities, conducting pre-inventory audits and walkthroughs, managing of on-site, tech-enabled physical counts, providing timely, robust reports, organizing and leading post-project debriefs.
  4. Experienced and Unobtrusive When it comes to inventory counts, hospital-specific experience matters. More experienced partners will work more quickly, anticipate challenges before they arise, and problem solve without creating burdens on you and your staff. Seek out a partner with more than 20 years of experience, with field members that also have several years of experience, and with staff members that are credentialed and professional on-site. When meeting with potential partners, ask about the top attributes their staff members possess that ensure a high-quality project. If their response doesn’t include words like “experienced,” “quiet,” and “unobtrusive,” it’s time to seek out a different partner.
  5. Strong, Referenceable Track Record With so much at stake when it comes to accurate inventory counts, you must conduct your due diligence. Seek out a partner with a strong portfolio of repeat clients, as well as a willingness to provide references upon request.
  6. Instant Online Access to All Reports and Data When you need to find the latest data or create custom reports, you don’t have time to wait. A partner who provides you with a secure, online portal, through which you can view data, export data, and generate custom reports whenever you need to is critical. The portal should also enable you to input your own information—such as uploading your item master, PO history, etc.—so all your data is stored in one, secure place.
  7. Ability to Integrate and Innovate While your hospital may not be looking to embark on a supply chain management platform-based approach now, you should seek out a partner that can provide that ability in the future. When all data is stored in one platform, it’s much easier for hospitals to ensure data fidelity, analyze data, improve efficiencies, and reduce waste. This is beneficial to hospitals at all times, but particularly crucial during a supply chain disruption. A recent Gartner report, which was based on interviews with multiple hospital leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic, noted that having one source of accurate supply chain data analytics and actionable dashboards is key during a significant disruption. According to Gartner, having one source of data enables hospitals to make “more centralized and data-driven” decisions regarding product substitutes and allocations.

Since 1999, Syft has become the trusted provider and is used by more than 245 customers (970 U.S. hospitals). In the last decade alone, Syft has conducted more than 9,200 inventory counts, totaling over $15 billion in inventory valued.

Syft proudly serves these customers and many more:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • BJC Healthcare
  • Ascension
  • Dignity Health
  • HCA
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