In most healthcare organizations, PAR remains the backbone of the healthcare supply chain. Despite industry adoption of more advanced methods, PAR continues to be the primary means by which medical-surgical areas are replenished in many facilities.
A PAR storage location can look like many things - a warehouse, a closet, or even a cart. No matter what the setup, PAR locations have one thing in common: clinicians rely on these areas to be adequately stocked to provide optimal patient care.
The tips in this blog are essential for keeping an organized PAR storage closet. This does a few things for the hospital:
Saves the hospital money (from increasing accuracy and reducing waste)
Makes the jobs of your healthcare workers easier and better (they know they'll have the supplies they need, when they need them)
Increases the quality of patient care (happier, better supplied healthcare workers)
Disorganization of PAR locations can lead to lost productivity for care providers, and in some cases lost revenue. Messy PARs are also more susceptible to out-dates, stock-outs, and end-user frustration. Given these points, it is worth reminding ourselves of certain best practices to setup and maintain PAR locations.
Here are some considerations to think through when setting up your PAR storage closet:
Physical Layout of PAR Storage
The physical layout and setup of your PAR stock locations is important to ensure clinicians are able to quickly and easily locate items. In principle, you should setup the physical layout of the PAR in such a way that it makes sense to care providers. Many organizations utilize a system of categories and colors to group like items (i.e. respiratory, gauze/bandages, etc.) to aid clinicians in finding items.
It is also important to try and standardize the physical layout from unit-to-unit. As clinicians frequently float between units, setting up a system with a level of consistency from one location to the next will go a long way in driving end-user satisfaction.
Routine Optimization of PAR Levels
PAR locations, which should be targeted to have a high inventory turn rate, require regular maintenance to optimize stocking levels. PAR levels need to be regularly updated to reflect evolving utilization patterns. Since most PARs are replenished at least 5 days per week, you should have access to a robust source of data to make informed adjustments to PAR levels.
By leveraging industry standard calculations such as Average Daily Usage (ADU) and Max Daily Usage (MDU), you can derive updated PAR levels. While most healthcare organizations strive to revisit PAR levels on at least an annual basis, this is often overlooked. Optimizing PAR levels can go a long way in reducing excess inventory, stock-outs, and product expirations.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Various regulatory standards, including those provided by the Joint Commission, CMS, AORN, and various State agencies, will require that PAR locations follow certain prescribed standards. While you should consult with your organization’s Regulatory Compliance team for exact standards, the following consideration should be given:
CLIMATE CONTROL: Storage locations should be climate and humidity controlled. This should be monitored.
EASY TO CLEAN: Shelving units/carts should have a smooth, non-porous, and cleanable surface permitting wipe-down with disinfecting products. Routinely clean/wipe out storage bins to remove dust and contaminants.PAR locations should be kept clean, organized free of dust.
SHELVING REQUIREMENTS: Take special precaution for items on the top shelf to shield from dust and moisture. Shelving units/carts should have a solid bottom shelf.
CONSIDER PLACEMENT: Do not store supplies on the floor or under sinks.Ensure shelving units/carts keep supplies at least 10” off the floor and 18” from the ceiling and sprinkler heads.Store liquids/fluids on the bottom shelf.
VISIBILITY: Supplies should be removed from external corrugated cardboard packaging.
SEPARATE NON-STERILE ITEMS: Sterile and non-sterile supplies should be stored separately within the PAR location. If stored together, always store sterile items above the non-sterile supplies.
Reduce Manual Processes for More Accurate PAR Storage
Integrating barcodes with technology likeRF-SMART for Oracle Healthcare can increase productivity of your Stock Technicians and further improve the data accuracy of PAR locations.
By leveraging a mobile device, your team can avoid manually writing down and keying in PAR replenishment orders. Instead, a simple scan of the bin with an RF-SMART enabled mobile device can immediately send the replenishment request to the warehouse, storeroom, or vendor. This ensures that the necessary downstream processes (picking, shipping, etc.) can begin without delay creating an efficient supply chain.
Benefits of a mobile solution include:
Count exact amounts of your inventory (reducing human error through scanning)
Know exact locations (reducing human error through using standardized bin locations)
Reduce the level of knowledge needed by Stock Technicians (through proper labeling, scanning, and even prompting with next steps)
Complete accurate and timely PAR seamlessly through automated, built-in, customizable processes (eliminating inaccurate orders)
Keeping these recommendations in mind are a small series of steps you can take to ensure optimal PAR setup. With so many supplies flowing in and out of PAR storage daily, don’t miss taking the time to properly manage these critical components of the healthcare supply chain.
Ready to learn more about managing your PAR locations? Download our free guide!
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