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Medical Stores Management

Medical stores management should assist both the flow and reliability of supplies from source to user as economically and reliably as possible, and without significant wastage, loss of quality, or theft. The primary purpose of a store is to receive, hold, and dispatch stock. This materials management process is implemented through inventory control and warehouse management systems, which may be manual or computer based. The primary purpose of inventory control is to manage stock and ensure the smooth flow of goods by determining what, how much, and when to order stock. Consequently, it provides essential information for procurement management. Warehouse management comprises the physical movement of stock into, through, and out of a medical store warehouse. The systems should also be designed to provide information for performance monitoring.


The following are characteristics of a well-managed stores operation

  • The store should be divided into zones that provide a range of environmental conditions and degrees of security.
  • There should be an appropriate zone to suit every item to be stored.
  • Stock should be arranged within each zone according to some orderly system.
  • Stock should be stored off the floor on pallets, on pallet racks, or on shelves. Each of these systems requires specific types of handling equipment.
  • Good housekeeping-cleaning and inspection, the disposal of expired and damaged stock, recording of stock movements, and the management of security- should be maintained.
  • The management structure should be clearly defined.
  • Staff should be appropriately qualified, trained, disciplined, and rewarded.
  • Clearly written procedures and handbooks should be available.
  • To promote efficiency, staff should have good working conditions and facilities.
  • Stock should be verified regularly and periodic audits should be conducted


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