Economical Healthcare Supply Chain Practices That You Need to Follow in 2022
With tighter budgets and labor shortages befalling hospitals and medical facilities, healthcare supply chain management has taken a massive hit. An inadequate healthcare system will inevitably face some pressure resulting in lower quality service and burnout amongst its caregiving personnel.
On the other hand, medical personnel who have all the required supplies and an efficient healthcare supply chain management system at their beck and call will undoubtedly offer the best to their patients.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain a certain efficiency level through automation and standardization to achieve the best results.
Here are a few best practices to make that happen while avoiding unnecessary expenditure.
Healthcare supply chain management invests heavily on inventory and purchased services contracts that are extremely demanding to maintain every year. In addition to new product requests and value assessment GPO contract conversions, all that is a hassle to oversee.
However, this does not imply that the management has to stop keeping track of everything that occurs in the supply chain. Use a volume-centric reporting system to notify the team of more significant savings margins that are simple to plan out and will not take up a substantial amount of the healthcare supply chain management’s time.
Organizational borders are tricky to blur out immediately, and so is expecting consistency across the board. However, it is known to provide some impressive results.
Having a standard universal procedure does not exclude having local variants. They simply need to be managed accordingly. Here are a few ways standardization can benefit healthcare supply chain management.
- Employ industry-standard frameworks such as the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model to standardize physical and financial operations.
- Top-down sponsorship should enforce regulations, and suppliers and consumers should be included in the healthcare supply chain management
- Evaluate the progress of your in-process phases and major output levers in a particular system to determine how effectively they function.
- Connect local, regional, and global performances, and analyze them regularly.
Automate All Manual Processes
Automating requisitions, sales orders, and invoicing, helps providers and suppliers eliminate human, error-prone procedures for the healthcare supply chain management. It helps cut down damages that typically result in higher expenses.
Whether suppliers or providers want to recover these lost expenses, healthcare firms should look at e-commerce alternatives for automating tedious procedures. When implemented effectively, e-commerce applications such as expense management software save both time and money.
These solutions establish essential links between companies and departments, increasing data visibility and allowing greater management of regularly incorrect data entries.
Precise charge capture, stock management, recall management, demand forecasting, and comparative effectiveness studies require accurate data collection from the start. Automation aids that process significantly.
Having a plan for strategic sourcing will add enormous value to a medical business. With buying responsibilities increasingly falling within the purview of the supply chain, it will become essential for the healthcare supply chain management team to have a clear understanding of the department’s obligations.
It will be beneficial if the team can obtain knowledge of the function that the group purchasing organization should also play in the firm and analyze any local agreements that may already be in place.
The flexibility required for group purchasing organizations (GPO) compliance can be determined. It may take some time to deploy, particularly if any issues are connected to GPO compliance.
Enhance Order Accuracy and Processing
Flaws in the ordering procedure cause clinical errors. If the wrong items are ordered, the medical personnel may be left without the tools necessary to conduct certain treatments.
Patients may be given incorrect medication, resulting in adverse health consequences and potential malpractice lawsuits. Furthermore, the organization may suffer a revenue loss. Don’t undervalue the importance of submitting proper orders and receiving supplies on time.
When healthcare professionals order what they require precisely, institutions do not waste time restocking the correct supplies. The healthcare supply chain management team can use order controls to improve the efficiency of the supply chain in the hospital.
A Computerized Provider Order Entry system or CPOE is a fine alternative. A CPOE improves efficiency by streamlining the hospital ordering process and reducing turnaround time. Assigning readable, uniform, and comprehensive orders reduce order transcribing mistakes.
Implement Effective Pricing
The healthcare facility’s management must first evaluate expenses to create an efficient pricing structure. Healthcare supply chain management can use a cost accounting system to handle detailed information on fundamental and incremental expenditures associated with a specific service.
The fee to cost ratio and Medicare cost allocation are two more accounting approaches to help a pricing system.
A healthcare pricing system demands planning. Understanding the cost-to-charge ratio at the procedure level is in the best interest of the team. Make a point of gathering, monitoring, and managing data on goods, staffing, and other expenditures.
It’s also a good idea to compare the facility’s costs to those of its competitors. Healthcare supply chain management can accomplish this by exploring publicly and commercially available datasets.
Decrease Wastage and Accumulation of Excess Products
By converting supply chain data into useful information on supply levels, suppliers and providers may better understand how much product is required and when. Thus, resulting in far less loss due to wasted, lost, or expiring goods.
Wasted goods are essentially money that is being mismanaged, and healthcare businesses cannot afford to misuse or neglect to employ every necessary resource. Healthcare organizations can effectively track and monitor product inventory by obtaining instant access to goods or services, their pricing, and order details.
Moreover, healthcare supply chain management can utilize streamlined supply chain initiatives to:
- Enhance inventory control and tracking,
- Lower costs,
- Increase customer satisfaction,
- Effectively meet compliance and regulatory requirements.
To summarize, healthcare supply chain management can benefit immensely from adopting these simple practices.
Tracking data and standardizing processes can lead to smoother functioning across levels. Further, automating processes can help reduce errors, ultimately aiding in wastage reduction, enhancing order accuracy, and shortening processing times.
Additionally, tracking data can also help implement effective pricing and sourcing strategies. Overall, implementing these best practices can lead to a smoother functioning and more effective supply chain within the healthcare system.