The Healthcare Hub

Discovering Nearly $200K Worth of Expired Products at One Hospital

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The alarming rate of expired products we encounter while performing inventories at hospitals
Often, before my team and I go in to conduct inventory services at hospitals, I speak to the supply chain manager. Most are quick to assure me that we won’t find expired inventory during counts at their facilities but that is not always the case.


 

Table of contents

  1. Dozens of expired items
  2. Signs of larger problems
  3. Millions of unrealized savings

 


 

Dozens of expired items

The Inventory Count team conducted inventory services at a 2,000-bed health system. During the count, they found dozens of expired items that amounted to nearly $200,000 worth of inventory. The existence of expired inventory increases the chances the inventory could be used in practice, which often leads to lawsuits and litigation.

At another facility, a 500-bed hospital, we were performing inventory services as part of a sale. There, we found a huge amount of expired stock (valued at nearly $65,000) in the operating room.

At a third facility, an approximately 150-bed hospital, they found several expired products in the walk-in. This hospital was anticipating an inspection from The Joint Commission any day, so leadership was extremely relieved that the expired products were found and pulled in time.

💡 Read more: Top 10 Hospital Inventory Services Provider Attributes

 


 

Signs of larger problems

These aren’t the only facilities in which the team has come across significant amounts of expired supplies, and they won’t be the last. They see issues like this routinely, which is particularly concerning given the serious consequences that could arise from expired supplies.

Expired medical surgical and pharmaceutical products and supplies are a huge safety problem for patients, a huge risk and compliance problem for hospitals and carry a financial impact.

Large amounts of expired products also tend to indicate that the hospital has greater supply chain management challenges. These hospitals likely aren’t tracking supplies as effectively and efficiently as they should be. As a result, they are wasting an enormous amount of time and money. When hospitals aren’t able to determine how much inventory they need, they purchase too many supplies, and often those supplies expire before they can be utilized.

 


 

Millions of savings unrealized

These aren’t the only facilities in which the team has come across significant amounts of expired supplies, and they won’t be the last. They see issues like this routinely, which is particularly concerning given the serious consequences that could arise from expired supplies.

Expired medical surgical and pharmaceutical products and supplies are a huge safety problem for patients, a huge risk and compliance problem for hospitals and carry a financial impact.

Large amounts of expired products also tend to indicate that the hospital has greater supply chain management challenges. These hospitals likely aren’t tracking supplies as effectively and efficiently as they should be.

As a result, they are wasting an enormous amount of time and money. When hospitals aren’t able to determine how much inventory they need, they purchase too many supplies, and often those supplies expire before they can be utilized.

 


 

The Inventory Diaries: A multi-part blog series

Over the last decade, GHX Inventory Count Services has conducted 11,000+ inventory counts, totaling over $21 billion in inventory. Their work is about much more than providing accurate inventory counts. Often, they shed light on critical information that saves hospitals money and leads to higher quality care.

This blog series shares those stories:


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How To Choose The Best Inventory Count Partner