COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Implications on Storekeeping Practices: Perspectives of Health Workers

COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Implications on Storekeeping Practices: Perspectives of Health Workers

Dominic Owusu, Francis Kabenlah Mensah, Benedict Ofori Antwi, Isaac Kwadwo Anim
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-2523-7.ch020
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Unprecedented outbreaks of disease have challenged the contemporary world with substantial adverse consequences on the effectiveness of business models in operations and supply chain management (OSCM). The advent of COVID-19 put a lot of pressure on staff and resources. However, the focus of contributors has been on the pressure on staff managing the various hospital facilities and ignoring inventory, which is one of the key areas where resources required to take care of patients are managed. Using the resource dependency theory, this chapter analyses how COVID-19 affected the inventory practices of hospitals operating in the Western Region of Ghana. It further makes suggestions on how the inventory of hospitals should be managed in order to avert possible shortages and interruptions in healthcare delivery and further relieve hospital staff of the pressure they have to sustain when there is a shortage. The chapter offers suggestions on areas of inventory management practices that management of hospital facilities should pay attention to.
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This chapter discusses how the advent of COVID-19 affected the inventory management practices of hospitals in Western Region of Ghana. The chapter indicates how the advent of COVID-19 put pressure on health facilities and resources, specifically inventory management. the chapter Describe the general perspective of the chapter. The chapter relies on the resource dependency theory and makes a case for why inventory management remain key to the operations of hospitals. At the end of this chapter, readers should be able to examine how the advent of COVID-19 affected inventory shrinkage, inventory turnover, inventory records accuracy and inventory investment. The chapter further makes recommendation on how such activities should be managed in order to avoid disruptions in health care delivery.


In recent times, the world has experienced a lot of outbreaks. Ebola and now COVID-19 have all brought enormous challenges to society. A. number of business models in operations and supply chain management have also been affected (Chew, Wei, Vasoo, Chua & Sim, 2020; Nigmatulina & Larson 2009). The outbreak of COVID19 has brought to bear a number of challenges to economies and the health care systems throughout the world (Boccaletti et al. 2020). The pandemic has also brought a number of disparaging effects on the way of life of people, the new normal. Since the report of a first case of COVID-19 in China, the number of reported cases has continuously risen to over 5.69 million cases with over 355, 575 deaths as at May, 2020 (John Hopkins University & Medicine). The surge in cases brought about a lot of considerable consequences on the health care systems of nations. Overcrowding of hospitals, shortages of medical supplies were key among the issues reported during the surge in COVID-19. Contingency measures rather took centre stage whiles effective planning was relegated to the backdoor. The world needed to react more than being proactive. This therefore, affected operations and supply chain activities as reported in the study of Lin et al. (2020).

In Ghana, the government of Ghana reported that the first two cases of COVID-19 were recorded at the Kotoko International Airport in March, 2020 (Banor, 2020). Since then, there was a steady rise of cases in COVID-19 which resulted in the government of Ghana imposing lockdown on the two major cities of the country, Kuamsi and Accra. Hospitals in the country recorded high number of admissions during the same period. There were shortages in the supply of personal protective equipment (GMA, 2020). These disruptions affected the quality of healthcare delivery during the same period. Inventory in all these cases were key but with reported shortages in the delivery of these essential items during the peak of the pandemic, it calls for rethinking of the inventory management practices of hospitals.

Judging from how crucial and important the store keeping department is, it is therefore imperative to investigate the effect of the Covid 19 on the various activities in the store keeping department especially from the perspective of health workers. Specifically, the study looked at the impact of Covid 19 on inventory shrinkage, inventory turnover, inventory records accuracy and inventory investment. The findings of the current study will inform inventory management practitioners in the healthcare industry on the inventory management practices to use or rely on during pandemics so as to avoid disruptions in healthcare delivery.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Inventory: The entire stock of items, materials both finished and unfinished kept by an organization.

Inventory Records: Is defined as keeping tracks of physical quantities of items sold, issued, or kept in hand.

Store Keeping: The responsibility of accounting for stock in store.

Inventory Shrinkage: Variations in records of items kept as stock on the books of a firm as against the actual figures recorded from physical counting of the items in stock.

Inventory Investment: Change in stock of materials within a given period.

COVID-19: A potentially severe, primarily respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus and characterized by fever, coughing and shortness of breath which in some cases causes damage to major organs of the body.

Operations: Is that function of business that is concerned with transforming inputs in desirable output.

Inventory Turnover: Refers to the rate at which stocks issued or sold out are replaced within a given period.

Pandemic: A disease prevalent over a whole country or the world.

Supply Chain Management: The function of the organization that is concerned with how external resources of the firm are identified, sourced, and accessed to meet organizational objectives.

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