Cardinal Health Introduces Flexible Inventory Management System

Cardinal Health introduces new tools to help hospital and independent laboratories simplify inventory management and better control and track spending on supplies so they can improve overall cost effectiveness and free up staff time to focus on patient needs.

The company’s Connect System is a comprehensive inventory management solution that uses custom product bar codes and scanners to significantly reduce the time labs spend ordering supplies. The system helps labs create a consistent ordering process for all products while ensuring immediate access to the right products at the right time. It also helps labs better control supply expenses by reducing unnecessary inventory and by allowing them to track supply spend by department and test platform.

“Cardinal Health’s Connect System has helped us significantly improve staff efficiency and product availability,” says Olive Miranda, clinical laboratory manager at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, CA. “Because the ordering process is so much quicker and more efficient, it’s also helped us save money by nearly eliminating the need for rush orders, greatly reducing our excess inventory and saving significant staff time.”

In addition to servicing more than one-third of all hospitals in the U.S., Cardinal Health also provides medical supplies to more than 6,800 hospital and independent labs. While many of these labs place orders electronically through purchasing systems, many still do so manually. Both of these ordering processes take up valuable staff time that could be spent on diagnostic testing; in both cases, staff need to key in each specific order and keep track of what products need to be ordered. Manual product tracking and ordering can also lead to excess inventory, poor storage space utilization, product stock-outs and unnecessary waste due to products needing to be discarded because they’ve exceeded their expiration dates.

The Connect System addresses each of these challenges. The comprehensive system is convenient and easy to use because it is designed to address the unique needs of the laboratory. It supports the various workflow needs of core labs and their departments, such as histology and microbiology. It creates a standardized ordering process for all products and vendors, and allows direct electronic order submission. It has the flexibility to also link into each facility’s existing purchasing or information system. It leverages barcode scanning to reduce ordering errors, dramatically simplifying the ordering process and eliminating the need for manual inventory counts. It helps labs reduce unnecessary supply spending while freeing up storage space and minimizing stock-outs by providing accurate inventory counts and automated product replenishment recommendations. It enables labs to better track and control supply expenses by providing visibility into overall supply spending and supply spending by department and by test platform. It helps labs improve patient safety and efficiency by flagging expired products and providing real-time information related to product recalls. It offers labs the flexibility to utilize only the system features they want or need.

“The introduction of the Connect System is an excellent example of Cardinal Health’s commitment to partnering with our lab customers to help them improve efficiency and overall cost effectiveness,” says Lisa Ashby, senior vice president and general manager of Cardinal Health’s Scientific Products business. “By tapping into Cardinal Health’s supply chain expertise and solutions like the Connect System, our customers can free up their time to focus on their main priority: delivering accurate and timely diagnostic results.”

During the 2009 Technology and Innovation Forum hosted by MedAssets, approximately 250 advisory board members evaluated more than 60 products and services and ranked Cardinal Health’s Connect System in the top quartile of those products most likely to help labs improve overall efficiency.

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