One common failure we see for maintaining accurate inventory is a breakdown in how teams at your hospital communicate between departments. Many health systems have separate biomed and financial ledgers. These records frequently don’t match, nor have common unique IDs to reconcile lists.

Who needs to be informed and when?

Several departments are generally involved in managing capital inventory on one level or another. It’s important for everyone to stay on the same page.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomed is usually considered the key stakeholder for capital assets. But some hospitals break this down further by department, facility, or cost center. Without a single, coordinated list, it’s easy for departments to have completely different records.

Do you know which is accurate? This is essential for dispositions, replacement requests, service requests, and additions to active inventory.

Finance and Accounting

Take these changes one step up the ladder and we often see failures communicating with financial departments. Finance needs an accurate record for a number of reasons. One includes maintaining financial statements, appropriate insurance coverage, and maintenance contracts. Approvals for future purchases and budgets also depends on accurate inventory records.

A breakdown here can leave hospitals with inflated asset values on the balance sheet and subject to penalties during audits.

Warehouse and Shipping

It’s also important to keep warehouse and dock staff looped into your disposition workflow. Assets that should have been removed take up valuable, sometimes expensive, storage space that could be better used for other resources.

And when assets are physically removed (not just retired from service), master records need to be updated again.

How does your hospital communicate between departments about new changes?

Most hospitals have a regulated disposition process. But methods often break down easily due poor communication or lack of protocol compliance.

We see a lot of disposition workflows use paper or digital forms passed between departments for approvals. But these easily get lost in crowded inboxes, or forgotten on long to-do lists. Some documents see multiple changes and version control gets confusing.

It’s essential to deliver approval forms to the right stakeholders at the right time. Teams also need transparency for where requests are throughout the process and who’s responsible for next steps. These details are difficult to track via email, and sometimes require an entire staffing role to maintain process compliance.

A simpler, more effective method is a single software platform that connects all key stakeholders to one master database.

But few hospitals use these systems. Instead, they have to manually update multiple records and accumulate inconsistencies over time. This in turn requires periodic re-processing of complete inventory, which compromises precious time and financial resources.

Software to Improve Process Compliance and Communication Between Departments

These software solutions DO exist, though. Workflow+ integrates key stakeholders across all departments on one platform, connecting everyone to a single master database.

Tiered User Access Connects Teams Across Departments

Asset owners, such as Biomed teams, have access to all inventory essentials, including adding and editing existing inventory. They can also view fair market value reports and request asset dispositions.

Department leads and other approvers receive notifications for disposition requests and can approve or deny these requests. When subscribed to the Private Exchange, department leads can also list and request assets for transfer from networked facilities.

Outside departments, such as Finance and Accounting, also receive disposition notifications and have access to view completed requests. They can easily export reports to update outside databases, as well as mark completed tasks in their Workflow+ dashboard.

Transparent Workflows & Automated Notifications Keep Everyone Informed

Disposition dashboards tailored by account type improve team transparency, letting everyone know the next step required. This includes automated notifications, sent both by email and within the online portal.

When a disposition is requested, notifications are sent to the appropriate department lead for approval. The request appears in the requestor’s dashboard as pending approval. It displays in the approver’s dashboard as requiring action.

Approved or denied requests return to the requestor’s dashboard as requiring action. All denials must include a reason, and requestors can re-submit the request with additional information if appropriate. Approved requests can move forward with the disposition process.

Completed dispositions trigger notifications to approvers and outside stakeholders. At this point, reports can be exported to help update any external databases. Teams choose whether to complete these updates monthly, quarterly, or at other appropriate intervals. Notifications stay in a user’s dashboard until marked complete.

Reporting Dashboards to Review Performance and Compliance

At any point, department leads can view a variety of disposition reports, including:

  • active and past disposition requests (including responsible parties)
  • dispositions by type (transfer, trade-in, sale, scrap/donation)
  • value returned or retained through dispositions

These reports add accountability and transparency, helping identify breakdowns in compliance that can be improved. They also help quickly share progress with executives and others interested in a top-level view of disposition operations.

End the Cycle of Miscommunication for Good

Clear communication doesn’t just maintain process compliance and keep record accurate. It relieves stress on your team and lets them focus on more important tasks.

No more losing forms or forgetting who’s responsible next. And no more scrambling to try and coordinate disjointed records. Everything is accessible in one place with Helix Workflow+.

Learn how Workflow+ can improve your hospital’s communication between departments.

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