Department: Dietary

Bed Size Classification








< 49 Licensed Beds

 50 - 99 Licensed Beds

 100 - 199 Licensed Beds

200 - 299 Licensed Beds

 300 - 399 Licensed Beds

400 - 499 Licensed Beds

500+ Licensed Beds

Inventory Amount








Typical Inventory Turns

Typically, Dietary Departments only formally count, or inventory, its non-perishables (i.e., canned goods, box mixes & select special function products); these items comprise the values identified in the chart above. Other Dietary Departments will "ballpark" a value for its perishables (i.e., fresh vegetables, meats & other prepared foods) and add this to the value of their inventory. This is, however, the exception and not the norm.

Dietary inventory is one of three "official" amounts carried on a hospital's "books" as an asset and is counted & valued at least annually. The other two Departments with official inventory are: Pharmacy and the Storeroom/Warehouse.

Dietary inventory turns of an average of 14.0 - 16.0 times, on average. These turns translate to an on-hand inventory of 22.8 - 26.1 days (calculated as: 365 annual days divided by 14.0 or 16.0 inventory turns).

Many hospitals are outsourcing the management of their Dietary Departments, with the understanding that an outside company can run Dietary more cost-effectively than in-house staff can. In some instances, this is the case - many of the Dietary contract management firms can guarantee 52.0 turns on your Dietary inventory, or better. They are able to obtain these figures through daily deliveries for all foodstuffs and utilization of their purchasing contracts, sometimes to the exclusion of a hospital's own GPO arrangements. One of the most prolific of these outsourced companies is Marriott Services Corp., who contract manage and provide meals for hospitals, nursing homes, retreat resorts and airport fast-food locations.

Methods To Increase Inventory Turns

Dietary Directors should be constantly reviewing their inventory for turnover by balancing the amounts on-hand against census figures, the demand for special functions, cafeteria meal equivalents and other functions which require an unusual demand for food.

Turns can be maximized by:

Factors Affecting Inventory Turns & Inventory Dollars

Product Lines With The Largest Financial Impact

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