In this age of pinching pennies, it is critical for EMS agencies to manage supplies efficiently. Life-saving tools and medications should be available in inventory to restock trucks as needed, and inventory should be clearly labeled and easy to find. Pharmaceuticals, in particular narcotics, should be very carefully controlled.
Enter the UCapIt inventory management systems offered by Bound Tree Medical. When Eric Johnson, EMS manager for Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, OH, went looking for a better way to manage inventory control, he found not only a system to provide inventory control for soft stock but also asset management.
“We’re able to manage our preventive maintenance for biomedical equipment, such as our heart monitors, O2 cylinders for hydrostatic testing, our IV pumps, etc.,” says Johnson.
“It’s working out well. We’ve been able to organize our inventory more, with a better grasp of what we have in stock, not only in central supply but in outlying locations. We’ve been able to cut back on or minimize the amount of inventory that we do carry. The analogy I use is, if we purchased an item, such as a traction splint, now we know where it’s located and where we have extra supplies, instead of making unnecessary purchases when you just can’t find the item.”
Johnson says the end result has been that he’s spending less money on purchases and less time managing his inventory. He can place an order for supplies in a matter of seconds compared to previously spending upwards of 45 minutes doing manual counts of supplies.
“This is not only asset management and supply room inventory management but also what we have on our vehicles,” Johnson says. “Now, we have yet to utilize that part of the software, we’re getting ready to roll that part out to the crews, but I would highly recommend it. We’re also keeping track of our fire gear in the software as well, as part of regular maintenance.”