Managing your stock profile PDF  | Print |  E-mail

The Problem

Areas such as Operating Theatres, Cardiology, Radiology and Day Surgery can have extremely complex inventory profiles, requiring equally complex processes to ensure that replenishment takes place in a timely manner.

Typically this inventory falls into four categories:


This is stock which is routinely replenished by the Supply Department and is often supported by in-house barcode systems. Generally this stock is replenished from the Hospital central stores.

Non Stock or Non Catalogued

These are items which for the most part are not managed via the imprest process and are often unique to the Department holding the stock. These are replenished via a requisition process which may be paper based or may entail manual entry into a central electronic requisition system. By definition, this is a manual management process usually carried out by senior nursing staff within the Department.

Consignment Stock

The day to day management of consignment stock can prove extremely challenging for both the Hospital and the Supplier. Unaccounted for stock items can often require tedious reconciliation processes which are a distraction for all those involved. Consignment stock replenishment requires a separate documentation process as it is a "pay and replace" exercise which needs to be separated from the normal non-stock replenishment. Ideally, the documentation should also identify the lot number or serial number if it is to be reconciled accurately. Again, this requires senior nursing staff to develop tedious manual processes to facilitate the replenishment.


Many procedures take place in these high cost areas which require the availability of loan sets or devices. These are items which are made available by the companies for an individual procedure. Again, this requires a separate process to initiate a "pay only" replenishment activity and again, it usually requires a tedious manual process by senior nursing staff.

The last three categories of devices usually represent a significant proportion of the dollar value in terms of the total value of the consumable budget, typically upwards of 80%.

The Solution

hTrak has developed an elegant stock classification capability which enables clients to attribute a default stock classification to a device at the Department level. This classification is carried out at the time of the inventory profile establishment and is usually completed via a spreadsheet process. This enables fast completion and upload to the client's profile. Once uploaded to our web server, this device classification is extended automatically to any handhelds attached to that Department's profile. The default classification can be changed on the handheld by the user at the time of the procedure, to accommodate those occasions where the source of the device may vary.

Once the handheld user has synchronised the procedures to the hTrak Web Server, we can run client specific business rules established to automate the handling of each of these stock classifications.

The table below sets out how this would work in a typical department. The letters used in the table are examples only. A client may also choose to have additional classifications if required



hTrak Action

Imprest Stock


No Action

Non Stock


Raise Requisition

Consignment Stock


Raise Requisition - Pay & Replace

Loan Stock


Raise Requisition - Pay Only




In the above example, the structure allows staff to scan and attribute the cost of imprest devices to a procedure but once the procedure is synchronised to the server, hTrak will not initiate a replenishment process. We do not believe that hTrak can add any real value to the day to day management of the imprest stock where an efficient replenishment process is already in place. If this is a problem area we would recommend a tool such as the Scan Modul "No-Count" system which can be facilitated by either barcodes or RFID:

The hTrak stock classification capability allows clients to accurately and efficiently identify a stock item and set attributes which facilitate the automation of the back end management processes required to ensure rapid and effective replenishment.


Capture Data

Capture the agreed data elements in the operational environment through the use of an approved and certified mobile handheld scanner.

Synchronise Data

Connect to the hTrak Web Server and accurately synchronise the captured data. Reliable Internet connectivity to be provided by the client. 

Access Data

Provide reliable access to the synchronised data for client authorised personnel or processes.