This project is under way, and will run until December 2021.

  • Run by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Aiming to improve pharmacy inventory management in the trust, free up staff time and reduce stock shortages.
  • Will develop, test and implement an analytical tool that will forecast medicine demand and support inventory management practice.

The use of analytics to support effective inventory management is widespread in sectors such as retail and manufacturing, but its application in health care has lagged behind. Pharmacy inventory management involves the processes of ordering, receiving and storing drugs, with the aim of ensuring drug availability while keeping costs down and working within storage capacity constraints.

This project involves the pharmacist-led development, testing and implementation of an open-source analytical tool that will support and improve existing inventory management practice within Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

An inventory management model will be developed which incorporates uncertain delivery lead times, flexible ordering schedules and storage constraints. Various forecasting methods that predict medicine demand over an order horizon will be tested and compared. The chosen forecasting methods will be combined with the inventory management model and tested in a simulation, using historical dispensing data, then run in parallel with the current inventory management system for comparison.

The effectiveness of the tool will be assessed in terms of overall cost (inventory costs and staff time), how often stock shortages occur and the clinical severity of these shortages. The project team anticipate that the tool will improve pharmacy inventory management, release staff time for higher value clinical work and reduce stock shortages.

The development of the tool draws on local expertise in the development of open source analytics in R, and academic expertise in health care modelling. The tool will be able to be configured for use in other pharmacy settings in the NHS.

Contact

For more information about this project, please contact Hazel Kirkland, Lead Pharmacist – Health Informatics, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

About this programme

Programme

Advancing Applied Analytics

Programme

This programme offers £750,000 of funding to support up to 12 project teams aiming to improve...

You might also like...

Blog

Recognising excellence in health care data analytics

Blog

As the winners of the Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Healthcare Data Analytics are...

Press release

The NHS is struggling to tackle a growing backlog of care

Press release

Health Foundation response to NHS England's monthly performance statistics.

Newsletter blog

A pandemic winter: what can we offer?

Newsletter blog

We look back on a long summer fighting COVID-19. In the light of what we know, what more can the...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

What can be done to improve NHS Test and Trace? @ADMBriggs discusses the role of local contact tracing in a new… https://t.co/sIS2Wg8qKv

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more