Bench stock is defined as low-cost, high-usage, common-usage, consumable items called bench stock parts which are used by maintenance technicians at an unpredictable rate. Bench stock includes items such as common medical equipment hardware, consumable batteries, cases, transformers, electronic parts, bulk materials (such as tubing and wire), resistors, transistors, capacitors, hose, gasket materiel, seals, and repair kits.
A well stocked bench stock can reduce equipment downtime which is a clear achievement noteworthy of success when it comes to cutting costs and eliminating outsourcing patient care elsewhere. Additionally, bench stock parts are never considered or ordered as supplies; theses have a commodity class all on its own as repair parts.
Management of repair parts on bench stock is vital for medical devices demanded on an occurring and routine basis. Proper management avoids high value inventories, waste and monetary abuse, minimization of losses resulting from obsolete parts on inventory. A physical inventory of all bench stock part should be conducted every year.
The following factors are used to help determine what parts and quantities to keep on bench stock inventory.
- criticality and importance: If the hospital can still provide care safely for a short time duration while the part arrives. If it delayed arrival time is greater than what is expected then consider keeping higher quantities or levels on hand to avoid work stoppage, unsafe practices, injures, or death.
- cost of downtime: If the device is out of service, it is unsafe of patient and staff use. Considerations must be made that patient appointments will now have to be cancelled, the cost of lost employee hours, the higher cost of supplemental care provided and the cost of canceling patients far outweigh the cost of any part(s) replenishment. Examine whether to keep parts on hand if devices are deemed essential, critical to safety and health, urgent and life support, emergency resuscitation, or for continued operation of the device.
- consumption rate:If the hospital frequently uses the device then contemplate keeping higher consumption rate of parts stocked more on hand.
- pipeline time: This is the time when a technician first places the parts order until it arrives on station and is received within the shop. Look at best delivery options such as overnight (primary method) followed by next day (secondary method)
- cost of repairs: These factors are determined when minimum orders are required to process the parts order. To avoid high quantities of multiple like parts consider purchasing other items such as supplies, accessories, or consumables to meet the minimum order requirement.
- number of devices in inventory: Of course, the more devices on hand within your equipment inventory warrants more repair parts placed on bench stock since it is more likely these devices will fail and require more repairs.
- shelf life: Avoid keeping on hand large quantities of expired or deteriorated repair parts. Again, the objective is to reduce waste and storage costs.
- Age of equipment: As equipment gets older or past its life expectancy, breaking down is most likely a routine occurrence no matter how many times you replace the same parts. The best option if the item is past its life expectancy or parts are hard to find is replacement since
its costing more money throwing it away into a lemon.
- ↑ AFMLO. AIR FORCE INSTRUCTION 41-201: Managing Clinical Engineering Programs. 18 April 2011. http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_sg/publication/afi41-201/afi41-201.pdf