The effect of inventory management practices on service delivery at St. Martin’s Hospital, Agroyesum, Amansie-West

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July, 2015
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Managing stock effectively is important for any organization, running a hospital is no exception because without enough stock, services to patients will come to a halt. Stock represents the largest single investment in assets for most organizations. Health facilities must provide 24 hour services and accordingly, the need to keep stocks of certain medicines and other medical supplies to be able to discharge their duties effectively. It is a generally held opinion that where stock management by health facilities is poor, delivery of healthcare is normally affected. Hence, this study examined the effect of inventory management practices on healthcare delivery using St. Martin’s Catholic Hospital, Agroyesum, Amansie-West as a case. A sample of 60 staff and 30 patients, was selected for the study. Questionnaires were used as the main instrument of data collection. The study revealed that the hospital ensures agreements with supplier for short cycle deliveries (items which do not take long to deliver), ensures accurate prediction of supplier delivery dates and operate Materials Requirements Planning system (MRP). The study also revealed that the hospital ensures Strategic Supplier Partnerships as an Inventory management practice and strictly uses Information Technology in its inventory management practices. The patients were satisfied with the hospital’s reliability of healthcare service (24 hour service and full complement of medical staff), completeness of healthcare service, empathy of healthcare staff and affordability of healthcare service and physical appearance of healthcare service. However, among the challenges the hospital faced with inventory management was poor storage of drugs leading to insufficient inventories, bureaucratic process in procurement, loss of drugs through inventory shrinkages, conflict of interest, weak management system and insufficient funds for procurement. It was therefore recommended that there is a need for management to emphasize the importance of inventory management and the hospital should improve the demand forecasting of major medical supplies and adoption of advanced information system such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to link their inventory practices with their service delivery.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, KNUST School of Business in partial fulfilment of the requirements for award of the degree of Master of Business Administration (Logistics and Supply Chain Management Option),