Enhancing the Healthcare Supply Chain – Reducing Costs while Improving Patient Outcomes

In today’s healthcare environment, hospitals and health systems face the same challenges that many organizations have been dealing with for years – reducing costs, managing inventory and vendor relationships, while elevating patient care. While hospitals are focused on multiple areas to contain costs, one area that consumes nearly one-third of all hospital operating budgets often remains overlooked — the healthcare supply chain. For healthcare providers, supplies are second only to labor cost, with millions of products moving along the supply chain every day — through manufacturers, distributors, and healthcare providers to patients. In addition, providers are subject to a unique regulatory environment that adds complexity other industries do not face.

However, in most hospitals the supply chain remains a manual and fragmented process, with many situations where human error can impact efficiency, increase costs, and affect patient care. In order reduce those errors, increase efficiencies, and ensure regulatory compliance providers must look to automate and streamline the supply chain process. By working to implement a 360 degree view of supply chain management, healthcare organizations can find ways to improve revenue streams and increase regulatory compliance by having more oversight into what products are being purchased and where they are in the system.

But how do they go about this?

There are multiple point products on the market today that attempt to address the supply chain issue providers face, however, while many of these technologies are excellent products, a siloed solution is not enough. The answer is to implement a comprehensive solution with a combination of process improvements and supply management technologies. In order to complete those improvements a 360 degree view of the supply chain process including:

1.) Establish a baseline:

  •      a. Assess the current state of the supply chain including processes and technologies currently in place
  •      b. Stakeholder alignment. In a healthcare environment, ensuring all stakeholders – including supply chain executives and staff, doctors, nurses, and other support staff – are on the same page is a critical element for success
  •      c. Gap Analysis
  • 2. Future state:
  •      a. Determine where you want your organization to be
  •      b. Create change management procedures
  •      c. Determine proper technologies to implement
  •      d. Develop processes
  • 3. Implementation and Training
  •      a. Implementation of logical repeatable processes
  •      b. Implementation of proper technologies
  •      c. Training
  •      d. Realignment of stakeholders to ensure success

RoundWorld Solutions (RWS) offers a unique view of assess, manage, plan, and implementation of supply chain processes and technologies that can help ensure your healthcare organization meets it strategic goals within cost reduction, compliance, and enhanced patient care.

You can find more information on our 2 week assessment

If you would like to discuss the Roundworld Solutions Big Data 360 View Tool, or this article please contact the author Arun Kumar – Vice President, Solutions and Delivery at arunk@roundworldsolutions.com or contact us today.