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Warehouse organization

Let’s continue moving to the final topic. How to organize a place for storage. In order to make inventory management more efficient, providing supplies with a smooth flow to users through economical and reliably way without significant wastage or loss of quality is important. In addition, to ensure that essential items are available in most of the time. Consequently, well-managed stores operation should provide following lists. First, all staff belong to warehouse need to be qualified and well-trained and the management structure should be clear defined Furthermore, standards operation procedures or handbooks should be available. And good housekeeping regularly and stock should be verified regularly and periodical audits should be conducted also. Let’s see a real example of warehouse setting from my hospital.
Remind again, store should control environmental temperature, light, and humidity. Since in hot and humid climates esp. In Taiwan, it is necessary to store many items in the rooms with air-conditioner. These photos is try to tell you that products should be clearly organized within each zone. The key point is to store similar items together. “Similar” means you can classify by the route of administration, form of preparation or therapeutic categories. Here are some special tags incorporated in drug’s name of hospital prescribing system. For example, hashtag means high alert drugs. The purpose is to help physicians and other medical stuff avoids any errors from prescribing or administration procedures. The storage for controlled substances that cabinet must comply with the Misuse of drugs regulations.
Additionally, pharmacy should have SOPs covering the safe management including ordering, receiving, recordkeeping, return, and waste. Pharmacists also have responsibility to audit the quantities and quality of products at regular intervals. Store environment, any signs of theft, pests, or water damage caused by any accidence should be inspected, too. Checking lists including quantities in stock and in practice and expiration date. If you want well-managed different kinds of medicines, some standards should be made to guide medical stuff. Here are several standards about medicine management from my hospital. The last issue is about return and disposal. The most common reason that drugs are returned to the suppliers is expired. Be aware!
Not give full credit on returns of products that will expire within 6 months in general situation. According to contrast between suppliers and my hospital, we do not accept that the products expire within 1 year. However, compounded medicines, repackaged and other potential toxic products can’t be returned. These items should be disposed in accordance with local regulations to avoid posing a risk to public health. As for controlled substances, they must be destroyed and destruction must be documented to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Well, let’s summarize briefly what we’ve learned today. Based on the above statement, an effective procurement management will lead the availability of right medicines in the right quantities, at reasonable prices, and at recognized standards of quality.
And an efficient inventory control and store operation is to balance service level and safety stock; meanwhile, warehouse can offer sufficient products with good quality to users as well. Although the essential features and principle of procuring management and inventory management as well store setting are the similar in health systems, the level of sophistication of every hospital varies widely. Here are some references I retrieved. One is essential medicines and health products information portal from WHO, and handbook of supply management at first-level health care facilities.
The last reference is Quantitative Methods in Health Care Management: Techniques and Applications second edition.

Ms Chen covers the last topic of this activity: storage management. Quality storage management is essential in ensuring smooth and reliable dispensing.

Key points

Efficient inventory management requires reliable and economical dispensary routes and minimization of wastage or loss of quality. In addition, stock shortages must be prevented.

Well-managed storage operation should have the following characteristics:

  • All staff belong to the warehouse need to be qualified and well-trained.

  • Management structure should be clearly defined.

  • Standards operation procedures or handbooks should be available.

  • Practice good housekeeping and stock verification regularly.

  • Perform periodical audits.

Storage conditions including temperature, light, and humidity should be monitored. Products should be clearly organized within respective zones, with each zone containing a type of drug. They can be similar in their route of administration, form of preparation, or therapeutic categories. Tags can be incorporated into the hospital prescribing system to help physicians and other medical stuff avoids any errors. The storage of controlled substances must comply with misuse of drugs regulations. Standard operating procedures about ordering, receiving, recordkeeping, return, and waste, should be established. Pharmacists are responsible for conducting various checks on the storage.

In terms of return and disposal, generally, full credit should not be given for the returns of products that expire within 6 months. Compounded medicines repackaged and other potentially toxic products cannot be returned.

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Who manages medication storage in your hospital?

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Good Pharmacy Practice: Medication Management

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