Why You Should Use Bar Code Scanning In Your Practice
And Not Just For Patient Safety
To many of us, bar code scanning is a normal part of our daily lives. We go to the grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, etc and everything has a bar code on it. This code is then scanned during the check out process and we are given the price to pay based on this bar code. Healthcare has also adopted bar code scanning in our hospital systems to manage patient safety issues around medication delivery. I am going to review several key items related to using bar code scanning with your GE Centricity EMR.
When we go to the checkout counter at most stores, the bar code is not just giving us pricing information. The stores have an inventory management system linked to that bar code. When an item is scanned, it then updates the inventory management system to decrease the total number of items available. It also contains key information such as the cost and how much to charge the buyer.
This then allows the store to order more of the item and at some point do a physical inventory comparison of what is in the store and what is in their system. The stores are then able to determine if items match up or if they are missing items due to theft, waste, damaged goods, etc.
Inventory Management Isn’t Often A Priority
During our GE Centricity optimization projects, we often find that the inventory management is most often some sort of manual process. This manual process often leads to poor charge capture and ultimately loss of revenue for these services. It can also cause major workflow disruptions by not having the necessary supplies when needed. Extra medication could also be purchased that is not needed; causing the practice to have wasted medications and additional expense.
Many practices do not keep track of expensive medications and supplies that could be leaving the practice without being charged to the patient.
Using Bar Code Scanning to Manage Inventory Within GE Centricity
Bar code scanning, when attached to an inventory management system, will allow you to not only manage the physical inventory of your practice, but will also speed up the documentation time of the item. There are several key areas that we recommend the use of a bar code scanning solution with your GE Centricity EMR.
- Injectable medications
- Oral Medications/Samples
- Durable Medical Equipment
The video below will give you a quick sample of an integration of bar code scanning into the GE Centricity product. In the sample below, we are utilizing an Orthopedic procedure but any medication administration or procedure could be documented with bar code scanning.
Improved Inventory Management Will Increase Revenue
Once you have a bar code scanning solution integrated with the GE Centricity EMR, you will be able to focus on improving your inventory management process. It is recommended to implement a form similar to the above demonstration to also improve your charge capture process. These two changes to your practice will most certainly improve both functions significantly.
Here are a few reasons to consider a bar code scanning solution for your GE Centricity system:
- Incoming medications & supplies tracked electronically
- The use of bar codes creates simplified documentation for medications & supplies
- Improve capture of key information such as lot#, expiration date, etc.
- Improve you MIPS Quality Scores by collecting accurate data
- Automated capture of charges based on documentation will increase revenue
- Deducting medications & supplies based on documentation will allow you to complete a thorough physical inventory for ordering
Inventory Management Reports
Another great benefit of an inventory management system is the ability to easily run reports from your system. These reports will help you:
- Determine current available inventory by location
- Review and remove expired inventory
- Review adjusted & transfers of inventory
There are many other reports available as needed to assist you in the inventory management of your practice.
In closing, implementing a bar code scanning solution with you GE Centricity product will improve not only your practice workflow but will also improve your charge capture and inventory management process.