Inventory Management: From Complex Paper Trail to Product Innovation
As the world’s leading manufacturer of logistics and delivery management equipment for hospitals, Swisslog deals with complexity every day. They tasked Spire Digital to define the user experience design and application for what became MedPortal® Inventory Management Software (IMS), their groundbreaking automated system that coordinates the daily flow of thousands of pharmacy products within a hospital. Together, Swisslog and Spire applied user-centered design and lean product development methodologies to launch this innovative pharmacy web application.
The Swisslog product development team identified an opportunity in the marketplace for a cloud-based hospital pharmacy management application. They spearheaded MedPortal® to replace a paper system of tracking and managing pharmaceutical inventory. The challenge was in making sure MedPortal® integrated with the entire suite of hospital logistics tools (such as pneumatic tubes and pill pickers), while providing accurate real-time reporting and a holistic view into the business.
Spire began the user-centered design project with a discovery period by conducting in-person hospital pharmacy interviews and on-premise observations at hospital campuses around the Denver area. This immersive user and business process research allowed Spire to absorb how inventory management was currently being performed and how new visionary tools could optimize it. Working in conjunction with Swisslog, Spire used agile development to design and build a touch screen with a responsive layout to manage the drug inventory and reporting process.
The true beauty of the MedPortal® IMS is how it provides end-to-end integration from the wholesaler to the patient, seamlessly blending multiple functions into a usable digital product toolkit. Pharmacists are able to accurately manage drug inventory, track expired drugs, automatically replenish stock and confirm orders so that the right drug reaches the right patient—all through an easy-to-use interface and dashboard reporting. And hospitals see real business results, while ensuring safety and transparency.