We have been concerned about our large consumables bills over the last couple of years and do have concerns regarding staff dishonesty. We are a very large 2 sited practice with a monthly spend well over £11,000. I am interested to know if anyone has had similar issues, especially after discovering the dental products that are available on eBay!
This may not help as we are a one-sited practice with only 3 dentists and a hygienist. What we do is have a stock list of everything that is located in our main storage cupboard. Each nurse has to mark off what they have taken and our head nurse does a weekly check on how much we need to order. When stock comes in we mark this on the stock cupboard list so we have an up-to-date record of what we have and when new stock arrives. In our practice meetings we mention when the stock list does not marry up with the stock left in the cupboard. We have a maximum amount of consumables that each surgery can stock at anyone time (1 sleeve of plastic cups, 3 boxes of tissues, 3 bundles of c-fold towels, 3 bundles of stack-a-pack tissues, etc.
We also can quickly check on the stock list to see what we are ordering and when discrepancies can arise due to clinicians holiday, sickness, etc. if none of these, the discrepancies are looked at more closely.
If we have any discrepancies we discuss this in the practice meeting so that staff are aware that:-
1. We are seeing what is going on
2. They are aware of what things cost (so please do not waste)
3. That we make sure all support staff are accurate at recording things
We also have periods where the nurse has to record what consumables and materials she brings into that surgery – normally do it for 1 month and all surgeries do it at the same time this allows us to see and double check how much each individual surgery uses.
We found that since we adopted the system we have more consistency in consumable stock ordering which obviously allows us to plan.We keep the more expensive items in a separate cupboard (composites, burs, etch, etc) but still use the same type of stock system.
We only allow the Heads Nurse/Practice Manager or Principal to order stock, normally the PM then one person has hold of the situation.
I have stock cupboards and sheets for stocks we use on a regular basis this shows what we are ordering each month also order numbers etc for quick ordering.
My stock room is locked, each surgery has a stock book that they write down what stock is required each week, they only get stock once a week,
this enables us to see what stock is being used comparing it to what is booked appointment wise. No one but my principal or me have access to the room.