Assessment of local supply chains and stock management practices for trauma care resources in Ghana

Assessment of local supply chains and stock management practices for trauma care resources in Ghana

New study from HIPRC, UW Surgery and KNUST show good supply chain and stock management practices may improve the quality and timeliness in trauma care.

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: January 27th, 2021
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons | OER Africa

Hospital availability of essential resources require an effective supply chain and efficient stock-management practices. Researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, the Departments of Surgery and Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and the UW Foster School of Business have conducted a study that assesses essential trauma care resource supply chain and stock-management structures at hospitals in Ghana. The study was published January 13, 2021 in the BMC Health Services Research.

Using results from a national trauma care assessment, the authors selected five hospitals with poor resource availability and five hospitals with high resource availability. The hospitals were also assessed with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Logistics Indicators Assessment Tool.

“When assessing the hospitals we found critical differences in the low- and high-resource hospitals’ stock management practices,” says lead researcher & KNUST Public Health graduate, Godfred Boakye.

Nearly every hospital assessed had a stock management record system that included information regarding stock on hand, quantities, losses, and anticipated adjustments. Boakye says this study found high-resource hospitals had more frequent inspections, up-to-date stock cards and less-frequent stock-outs correlated. Greater numbers of stock-outs and lengths of stock-outs were correlated with lower trauma resources.

“Hospital supply chain and stock management practices that are well-planned and -organized and have strong accountability and quality improvement frameworks can improve availability of essential trauma care resources,” says HIPRC core member Barclay Stewart, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at University of Washington. “By highlighting these deficiencies in stock management and their impacts on essential resource availability, we can better inform the planning and organization of trauma care service delivery.” The findings of this study suggest governments, health systems, and hospitals should consider these recommendations to ensure trauma care and other essential resources are available when needed.

Other authors in this work include, Adam Gyedu, KNUST Surgery Professor, Melissa Stewart, Foster School of Business, University of Washington, Pete Donkor, School of Medicine and Dentistry, KNUST, and Charles N. Mock, MD, PhD, MPH, FACs, HIPRC Global Injury Lead, Professor of Surgery, Epidemiology, and Global Health, University of Washington.

This study was funded in part by grants from the University of Washington Department of Surgery Research Reinvestment Fund and grants (R25TW009345; D43-TW007267) from the Fogarty International Center, US National Institutes of Health.