Assessment of inventory management in a public hospital and a private not for profit hospita in Uganda: A case of Kawolo Hospital and ST. Francis hospital Nsambya
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ABSTRACT Introduction. Proper inventory management is key to ensuring effective and sustainable health care provision through appropriate handling of medicines and health supplies. To ensure effective systems in Uganda, the ministry of health (MoH) has championed use of Essential Medicines and Health Supplies reporting and ordering system that enables local handling of medicines and health supplies at each hospital. However, proper use of this system remains a major bottleneck to the health sector in general which has resulted into frequently reported stock outs and expiries and variable performance amongst Public and Private Not for Profit (PNFP) hospitals. Objective. This study was aimed at assessing inventory management in a Public and PNFP hospital in Uganda, a case study of Kawolo hospital, Lugazi and St. Francis hospital, Nsambya. Methods. A cross sectional study was employed using a mixed methods approach to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data was collected using key informant interviews that included hospital pharmacists, dispensers and store keepers. Quantitative collected by documentary review of the selected tracer items at the selected hospitals. Results. Both hospitals had stock cards, for some selected tracer items, though not all. Kawolo hospital used all the inventory management tools of interest unlike Nsambya which only had stock cards. The median number of days out of stock was 6 days for Nsambya hospital versus 43 days for Kawolo hospital. The mean percentage days out of stock was 21.139% at Kawolo hospital and 5.393% at Nsambya hospital. The difference in mean percentage stock out days (16.7462%) was statistically significant, given the P-value 0.04. Of the selected items, Kawolo hospital had expiries worth 5.36M while Nsambya had no documented drug expiries. Perceived factors for inventory management included; limited funding by government, delays by suppliers, insufficient technical expertise and man power and lack of supervision. A better inventory management at Nsambya hospital was attributed to good management policies, sufficient funding and the technical team for doing the good work. Conclusion Kawolo, a government hospital had more tracer items and all the inventory management tools of interest unlike Nsambya hospital, a PNFP. Generally, inventory management at Nsambya hospitalperformed better than at Kawolo hospital though both had challenges. Limited funding, lack of supervision and delays in delivery should be addressed to improve the quality of health delivery in both public and PNFPs.