How Does Real Time Inventory Management Help In Pharmaceutical Dispensing

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This post is for all organizations and stakeholders that deal with medical services and medicine inventory. IDS has end-to-end medical supplies storage and management solutions for emergency response teams, hospitals, universities, and more. Please check out what our customers have to say here.

The factors that impact medical supplies dispensing are related to the following stakeholders,

  1. Medical service providers: from first responders to medical professionals on the roster, medical supplies must be accessible quickly and only to the appropriate professional. 
  2. Service users and consumers: the supplies need to be available in pristine condition to the end-user.
  3. Organizations and institutions: entities that deploy storage and management dispensing solutions need help with their expense optimization.

Points To Watch Out For In A Medical Supply Dispensing Solution

The principal objective of a pharmaceutical dispensing solution is ensuring optimum access to medicine and medical resources while eliminating wastage and thereby optimizing procurement. The following aspects are critical in ensuring a successful dispensing solution, 

  1. Technology and features: there are numerous methods for tracking the supply’s flow and status. From embedded sensors to cellular internet, stakeholders need to choose the appropriate machine that ticks all the boxes.
  2. Storage and procurement: medical resources come with a host of regulatory compliances to meet, and they differ based on the governmental agency or entity. The ideal solution needs to be flexible enough to factor in multiple considerations while assisting strict compliance.
  3. Operations and reporting: in medical resources dispensing a penny saved is a penny better spent in saving more lives. The ideal dispensing solution needs to be equipped to reduce wastage and procurement expenses.
  4. Maintenance: Medical domain needs tried and tested solutions that are reliable over long periods.

Technology & Features: 

  1. 3rd Party Tool Integration: Inventory management data helps departments like admin, HR, finance, operations, etc. IDS’s solution integrates with a wide range of 3rd party systems and software.
  2. Credentials Based Access: Credentials capture improves accountability and resource utilization. IDS solutions offer a host of credential vetting tools like magnetic cards, mobile-based barcode scanners, etc, including biometrics-based access. Biometrics are more difficult to manipulate and can be carried over from the previous machines.
  3. Stakeholder Communication:  IDS UCapIt helps automate transactional and usage-based communication based on pre-determined and ad-hoc triggers to the appropriate stakeholders.

B. Storage & Procurement: 

  1. Supply Room: Multiple statutory regulations and compliance requirements must be met when storing and dispensing pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. With IDS dispensing solutions, the entire supply room is accessible at the click of a button. This is especially beneficial for audits, risk reduction, and product expiration management.
  2. Custom Notifications/Alerts For Critical Resources: Some SKUs need more attention than others. These could be anything from scrubs to controlled medication. IDS  solutions come equipped with full data tracking and insights capture capabilities to design custom alerts through notifications and actions like procurement requests.

C. Operations & Reporting

  1. Automated Returns Management: returns are a pain, and the ideal dispensing solution would make it pain-free. Like how the Virtual Tracker updates stock levels after returns. 
  2. Improved Inventory Workflows: Efficiency is all about the workflows that determine how the inventory flows. UCapIt’s simple and effective workflows optimize how inventory is distributed and made accessible. 
  3. Scheduled Maintenance of Dispensed Assets & Resources: Our solutions help in improving asset life and quality by helping in their timely recalibration, repairs, or maintenance during check-in.
  4. Enhanced Auditing: Reconciling stock records to actuals is a breeze with Virtual Tracker. Our easy-to-use interfaces, including mobile-based bar code scanners, ensure stocks = actuals.
  5. Lot Tracking: supply tracking from procurement to dispensing and future procurements. Chain of custody

D. Maintenance

  1. Optimizing Efficiency: Solutions need to be monitored and maintained to ensure they are able to give full value for their investment. Using iQ Technology helps understand how the deployed solution is working for you. 
  2. Optimizing Efficiency: Solutions need to be monitored and maintained to ensure they are able to give full value for their investment. Using iQ Technology helps understand how the deployed solution is working for you. 

The Benefits Of Using A Single-Source Inventory Management Solution

In addition to the points covered above, IDS’s single-source all-in-one solutions pack great adaptability. For instance, we pack the following,

  1. Custom Checklist: The ability to build digital checklists for anything. Could be workflows, notifications, or inventory tracking. 
  2. API / Pre-Authorization: The backend of the software is secure but comes with the ability to connect with other business processes. Ensuring inventory which is a critical aspect of the organization does not end up being a silo.
  3. Customizable Locker Dispensing: Our physical lockers and hardware themselves are versatile. Customizable as single, standalone machines or satellites connected to a dispenser or smart locker.

With iQ Technology, you get all the features, values, and benefits of an ideal dispensing solution for your medical service delivery requirements. A snapshot of what our solutions are capable of includes, single and multiple item dispense, asset and resource check-in/check-out, returns management, custom rule setting workflows like loan periods, self-service automated order pick-up/will-call, etc., and much more under a single login for a unified view on supply requests.

Click here to know more about how and what iQ Technology could do for your medical inventory storage and management.

How can your organization help control the spread of COVID-19?

 

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COVID-19 and the new workplace

In the early days of COVID-19, the whole world was very optimistic about how soon the flu-like epidemic will soon disappear. Two years later, the pandemic is still raging on. Every few months, a new wave emerges that seems to be larger than the previous [1]. Our workplace has evolved to meet these new realities. Factories, offices, shops, and warehouses have all adapted to the changing dynamics. Businesses have been trusted with taking the necessary steps to protect their employees and prevent an outbreak at the workplace. They must accomplish all of this while going about business as usual.

The good news is that technology can give businesses a helping hand. A combination of equipment, software, and processes can come together to reduce contamination, trace outbreaks early or provide necessary response supplies.

Availability of EMS Supplies

Prevention is better than cure any day of the week. Many businesses are driven by the desire to protect their employees from a dangerous disease. Some are also motivated to avoid the expensive downtime from a contagion-related stoppage and the ensuing sanitization costs. Timely access to PPE equipment and sanitization products can help both objectives. Placing PPE dispensing equipment at access points can ensure everybody who needs access to such supplies will get it. Our range of PPE Supply Dispensers are specifically designed for this purpose. They reduce wait times, eliminate queues, and provide a completely contactless experience while providing employees with face masks, sanitizers, gloves, tissues, and more.

Testing and Sample Collection

From the very beginning of this global pandemic, aggressive testing and tracing of infections have been a priority for health officials. Companies that need employees onsite for conducting business will need proper testing infrastructure to control spread. 

Testing Kit dispensing machines can provide much-needed access to test kits. When sample collection is authenticated by Employee ID or Key Cards, traceability of samples becomes very easy. This accelerates response and reduces the chances of uncontrollable spread. Technology can improve the ability to test and control spread. 

IDS’ UCapIt Rapid COVID-19 Testing Solution ensures easy access to self-administered COVID-19 test kits. Their design, operation, and footprint make them ideal for workspaces, campuses, and healthcare facilities. See how California universities are benefiting from COVID-19 Test Kit Dispensing Machines by downloading our case studies.

Reducing Contacts

COVID-19 pathogens stay active on surfaces like glass, metal, or plastic for several days. This makes every contact a potential opportunity for contamination. Thanks to the pandemic, a killer handshake can now truly live up to its name.

Fewer person-to-person interactions can have a tangible impact on containing spread within your office or factory. Strategically placed dispensing machines can be the insulation between the employee who needs tech supplies and the IT support team. MRO tools dispensing machines can eliminate the need for physically handing over tools and equipment from one individual to another. Vend Safety, for instance, uses iQ Technology, our in-house cloud-based inventory management software, to increase productivity and reduce costs.

If you are a shop owner, the chances of contamination can come from more places than within your business. Contact with customers is not as controllable as it is with your employees. BOPIS and retail collection lockers can eliminate that touchpoint. Our BOPIS/Click and Collect lockers give a novel and safe experience for your customers. Our retail lockers offer customizable lockers and intuitive user interfaces while being equipped with iQ Technology, which makes inventory management a breeze.

Safe Interfaces

Dependence upon dispensing equipment and lockers may make one wonder if they can be sources of infection. That is why responsible dispensing solution manufacturers like IDS Vending have developed UVend Technology, an ultraviolet-based disinfection technology. This can sanitize the touchpoints of the dispensing machines each time after use. UVend Technology can eliminate or deactivate 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. UVend Technology is our patent-pending technology that combines UVC rays with motion sensors to make high contact surfaces on the machine safer.

Trackability (iQ Technology, Chain of Custody)

Despite all precautions, infections can still happen. Businesses need to be prepared to respond to such instances. One of the first steps is to trace the source of infection and identify all contacts for isolation. Thanks to innovative software platforms like iQ Technology from IDS Vending, establishing the chain of custody of equipment used by the source of infection is easy. At the click of a button, you can trace all users who have interacted or used a particular piece of equipment. This helps health officials and businesses take the necessary precautionary actions.

Future Work Environment

As of the time, this blog was written, we are in what experts identify as the fifth wave. Though this has been several times larger in terms of the number of infections, thankfully, the fatality rates are much lower. In one form or the other, such mutations pop up once every few months. Businesses need to protect their employees while ensuring business continuity. Technology can help businesses meet such challenges. Controlled dispensing hardware and software platforms from IDS Vending can help you tide over any number of waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. To know more, call us at 1-855-526-2683.

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Inventory Management

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions takes pride in being leaders in serving companies manage their inventory. We are working to develop the best software and hardware to help all types of organizations save money.

“What we do at IDS is: How can we help with managing your operations?” said IDS VP of Sale John Van Horn. “So we put our efforts into our software from a managing perspective. Managing what you have and that could vary.”

Our inventory management and control solutions are designed to save you time and money. IDS has designed many successful applications to assist businesses, EMS, schools and hospitals securely dispense important supplies. Our applications are used to track supplies, sell products and control dispensing.

Companies spend a great deal of money either tracking inventory or losing money from “lost” invent. IDS has inventory management and control solutions that are easy, effective and automated so supplies and inventory can get in the hands of those they were intended for when they need it. We understand that for any organization it’s about the money.

“Historically 30% has been saved by using our equipment,” said Van Horn.

IDS is committed to working with our clients to create money saving solutions that allow them to spend time and money on responsibilities other than inventory control. Call us today at 1-877-771-4446 to learn how we can help you.

Vending Machines Aren’t Just for Snacks

                  It is most common for people to associate vending machines as only serving food and drinks. However, more and more we are seeing vending machines that have a variety of uses besides dispensing food. Businesses are understanding the value of convenience and the ease with which products can be stored and delivered in non-food vending machines. Vending machines also provide a secure location for items and easy tracking and inventory information.

                  Companies are learning that vending machines help them get their products in front of their possible customers sooner. A recent Small Business Trends article titled “Vending Machines Aren’t Just for Snacks Anymore” noted that companies are selling jackets and headphones out of electronics vending machines in airports. Vending machines help companies go to their customers rather than on relying their customers coming to them. In addition to airports, schools and universities are becoming popular places to place non-traditional vending machines.  These machines can help travelers that are missing something they want for their trip or a student who needs a piece of technology for class.  Fitness centers are also great places to reach a target market through automated dispensing. Just like in traditional snack vending where location is important and a business profits when they can take their product to where people interested in their product already are.

iVendTech Satellite Machine

                  Organizations are also learning how vending machines are efficient and cost effective ways to get necessary supplies to their own employees. Businesses can use vending machines to track supplies, so they know exactly who is taking the supplies, and can limit how many workers can take. Employees can also take supplies 24/7 and do not need to wait on anyone else to access what they need. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions had been very successful helping hospitals dispense and sort their scrubs and other medical supplies. IDS also has helped fire departments track and dispense emergency supplies. Improved inventory management with vending machines is helping organizations save money and better serve their workers.

             We will let other companies get customers snacks and drink. We are proud to be on the cutting edge of automated inventory management systems helping businesses save time and money. Helping companies develop automated retail plans to reach their target market is important to us. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is excited about the future of vending and the growing awareness and opportunities to vend non-food items. Do you have an idea of something you would like to vend but need helping making it happen? Contact us today at 1-877-771-4446. We would love to learn how we can serve you!

IDS New Web Service Features

Intelligent Dispensing Solutions is excited to announce new web service features that will enhance reporting and accountability allowing you to further streamline administration costs. The new features include: Supply Room, Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets as well as Transaction Reporting.

Supply Room

Supply Room makes sure that you always have the items needed to restock your machine.  With Supply Room you can set critical alert level and par levels for items that are ready to be stocked in your IDS UCapit machine(s) and items that will remain stocked on the shelf. You can be alerted when you need to reorder products and if you need to restock products. Soon this service feature will include the ability to run purchase orders based on your supply levels in both machine and supply room.

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets provide the ability to better manage tasks by creating your own checklist. The checklists tracks who completed a task and when. A completed task can be reported automatically by sending an email to the designated crew member. The completed checklist is easy to share with those on your team as well.

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets

Electronic Checklists and Ambulance Stock Inspection Sheets provide the ability to better manage tasks by creating your own checklist. The checklists tracks who completed a task and when. A completed task can be reported automatically by sending an email to the designated crew member. The completed checklist is easy to share with those on your team as well.

Transaction Reporting

In the Transaction Reporting feature the allocation displays automatically when a report in run. For example, if you are prompting your crew members to enter the Run Number and Unit Number it will automatically display with the individual transaction record without having the change the account setting. Also, when you check the ‘Customize Columns’ box, further options for returning the data you want appears. You can now make selections for displaying the Lot Number and Expiration Dates. This means that the individual Lot Number and Expiration Date will display for each individual product that has been dispensed. Remember that any time you run a particular query, you can automate it.

IDS Advancing Technology

IDS expects to continue improving our solutions in order to provide your organization with increased value. Please contact us to schedule an online demo on these new web service features or have general questions about optimizing your use of the IDS UCapIt solution.

Customer Spotlight: Mastic Beach Ambulance Company Success Story

This month, we want to highlight our medical vending machine customer, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.

Mastic Beach Ambulance Company implemented our U-Cap-It medical vending solution and placed themselves in control of inventory. Now, they are able to save staff time managing inventory and significantly reduce costs associated with wasted and expired supplies.

With 90-100 staff members, the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company runs five ambulances and multiple responders and averages about 2,500 to 3,000 calls a year.

Prior to implementing the U-Cap-It system, Mastic Beach would run into problems with tracking of product on hand. This ended up being an issue when crews were coming back into the building to restock and there was no product left.

Though a few different software solutions were looked into by Mastic Beach, they found the U-Cap-It solution to be the best option. The cost savings implemented by U-Cap-It was a huge benefit for Mastic Beach. Implementing the solution allowed Mastic Beach to spend less time doing the manual count and paperwork needed to keep track of all the spreadsheets and physical inventory in their building.

“U-Cap-it was able to provide us with exactly what we were looking for.”

-Rich Tvelia, District EMS Supervisor, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.

When Mastic Beach needs to do a restock, whether something expires or is out of stock,  U-Cap-It is able to see exactly which ambulance vehicle needs the restock. Additionally, there are automated reports and instant notifications from the U-Cap-It website available to Mastic Beach to better track all of their equipment, certifications and product.

In implementing the U-Cap-It system, Mastic Beach was able to save up to $8,000 in the first year alone. Now that the system is in place, there is also continuing local technical and training support from IDS.

“I would recommend the U-Cap-It system to any other agencies in need of cost-cutting processes, ease of use, inventory tracking, and continued customer support.”

-Rich Tvelia, District EMS Supervisor, Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.

If you’re looking for a better way to control inventory, save staff time managing inventory and significantly reduce the cost of wasted and expired supplies, consider IDS U-Cap-It solutions.

For more information about U-Cap-It, visit us here.

Watch the entire testimonial here.

Customer Spotlight: Columbus Fire Division

Columbus Fire Division

This month, we want to highlight our customer, the City of Columbus Division of Fire (“Columbus Fire”).

In an effort to cut down on waste and human error and improve tracking of the life-saving medications that fire paramedics use every day, Columbus Fire has incorporated the use of IDS’ UCapIt Controlled Medical Supply Dispensing Pharmaceutical machines.

IDS machines have been strategically installed in 18 of the city’s 34 fire stations and the City is hoping to install more machines as the system saves the City more money, says Columbus Fire Chief, Kevin O’Connor.

The UCapIt system catalogs the drugs stored inside, tracks their expiration dates to avoid dispensing expired products, and alerts supervisors if the department is running low on any drugs ultimately reducing the amount of narcotics lost to expiration.

“The UCapIt solution gives us a greater accountability across the board for all of our medications,” said Patrick Ferguson, deputy chief of training for the division. The cloud-based tracking system “tells us what machine it was vended out of and the paramedic that took it out of the machine.”

The convenience of 24/7 real-time data featured in our medical vending machines is a huge asset to Columbus Fire. “Instead of logistics people running from station to station to verify quantity, we can just check that online,” Assistant Chief Jim Davis said.

Because the department ordered drugs in bulk every month, before implementing IDS’ solution more times than not they would order too much to avoid the possibility of having a dangerously low inventory. Now, firefighters can order drugs in smaller quantities more frequently, restocking drugs based on system tracking of inventory.

“This way the supplies get utilized before the expiration date,” O’Connor said.

Also, previously, the department relied on sign-in sheets and locked storage rooms to store drugs. With the new system, Davis said, “we can see who is taking what out. If somebody takes four (of a certain medication) we can ask them why they took four.”

The neighboring Jackson Township, Westerville and Grove City Fire Departments already utilize UCapIt.

For more information about our vending machines, visit www.idsvending.com .

The Hidden Cost of Cheap Machines

 

You may be tempted to buy an inexpensive dispensing machine as a way to cut costs and bulk up your bottom line, but you’ll probably want to rethink this. Though they are tempting, cheap vending machines come with many hidden costs.

Most of these dispensing machines have extremely limited capabilities and limited  upgrade options making them cost more than they are actually worth. Helix machines (traditional candy bar-type dispensers with a coil screw holding the product) are designed for low-SKU count, high-turnover applications. These machines work well in applications where the facility is using a high-volume of few products but won’t work well for most other applications such as manufacturing floors or EMS facilities that generally require high SKU and low volume machines. Cost-per-bin of helix machines is significantly higher than industry leading machines due to low-SKU count capabilities. In short, if you are looking for a machine that will help you  distribute a variety of product, this isn’t it.

Additionally,  low cost machines have some generally unknown fees and costs. Most maintenance, repair and operations supplies have to be repackaged in order to work in a low cost machine. This can only be done manually and can be incredibly labor intensive!

Most importantly, these machines are typically seriously lacking from a software standpoint.

Technological capabilities helix machines are missing include:

  • First-In, First-Out technology
  • Inventory algorithms for their replenishment systems
  • Easy integration into suppliers’ backend ERP systems
  • Managing both consigned inventory and end user owner inventory
  • They rely on remotely hosted web servers and so have limited onboard memory as well as potential to crash when internet connection is lost

The distributors selling these cheap dispensing machines don’t inform customers about these high costs. Instead, they just pass buyers along to their price per unit for their tools and supplies.

On the other hand, industry leaders in distribution are moving rapidly to more intelligent supply vending machines in order to keep their total costs globally competitive.

When you automate inventory management with an intelligent dispensing solution, you can replicate best practices and standardize business processes across your entire organization. The flexibility of our equipment along with iQ Technology offers an ideal asset management solution across almost any industry or application.  Equip your organization with the most seamless, technologically advanced inventory tracking system in the world.

Automated dispensing will lower your inventory costs and improve productivity while ultimately improving your organization’s bottom line.

For more information about our vending machines, visit www.idsvending.com .

Every Moment Matters

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Getting What You Need When You Need It

Every moment matters in the medical field. The medical industry is growing and evolving and it’s now easier than ever for healthcare workers to get the medical supplies they need, when they need them.ESM and pharmaceutical vending machines are a game-changer for healthcare workers requiring access to care critical narcotics and EMS supplies.. Being both cost and time-saving solutions, these machines allow healthcare workers to access EMS and narcotics in compliance with access dual verification access protocol 24/7 which can be critical for the timeliness of patient care.

Solving Inventory Management Issues One Machine At A Time

One of the greatest challenges that today’s EMS professionals and pharmaceutical managers face is medical product management and security. IDS is putting the control back into your hands by providing a safer, smarter, and more secure way to accurately assess and track your employee’s usage.

The best way to reduce medical supply costs has little to do with the actual supplies themselves, but rather how they are managed. Through iQ Technology, our supply dispensers and supply lockers maintain controlled access to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, meticulously track inventory, and allow instant access to all records.

Isn’t it time to take control of your EMS and narcotics inventory while improving the level of care you provide to your patients?  Let IDS help you with your medical product management by controlling, tracking, and dispensing narcotics and medical supplies with an EMS and Pharmaceutical vending machine.

For more information about our pharmaceutical and EMS vending machines, visit www.idsvending.com .

The IDS System for Medical Supply Dispensing in Chesapeake

The Chesapeake Fire Department has implemented IDS’ secure, web-based system to dispense medical supplies for its team in order to increase their efficiency and decrease their tax dollar spend!

How does this medicine vending machine work, and how much will it cost taxpayers? While the city invested $85,000 to get the machine up and running, it has been determined that this initiative could actually save taxpayers thousands of dollars in the long run. The machine’s supplies are accessed by employees through scanning their department IDs and choosing the dispensable item via keypad selection.

 

The department’s previous system of an open closet approach for EMS inventory management was far less efficient: crews got supplies after sending an email and awaiting new deliveries. Additionally, restocking was estimated and often inaccurate. There were countless potential delays. Additionally, there were excess fuel costs because crews could only get supplies from one central supply station, no matter where they were based in the city.

 

Now things have changed.

 

“The IDS system is going to prevent stations and employees from hoarding supplies and thinking they may need more, while really they need less,” says Chris Bergeron of BoundTree Medical.

 

The implementation of IDS’ system at Chesapeake Fire Department, three years in the making, helps speed up the process of getting supplies and helps keep up with costs. The system provides info that will allow the fire department to use tax dollars more efficiently. This year alone, Chesapeake crews had over 27,000 emergency calls, of which 76% were EMS calls where medical supplies are used.

 

Now, the new dispensing machines can also help identify what specific items are needed for different emergencies, further increasing efficiency and preparedness for medical calls.

Watch the full video feature on this exciting new wave of medical supply technology here, and be sure to visit the IDS website to learn more about our controlled dispensing technology.