One of the best ways to improve your organization’s value analysis process and bottom-line is to refine Supply Chain management. While this can appear to be an intimidating initiative because of the sheer size, diversity, complexity, and significance of hospitals’ inventory lists, the process can be improved with several simple steps. Enhancing Supply Chain management will help in many ways other than just saving money. Most importantly, hospital leaders who understand their Supply Chain management and how to improve it will be able to avoid both overstock and inventory shortages. Therefore, hospitals will likely have the necessary supplies for patient care while also seeing a reduction in waste. By following the tips listed below, any hospital may improve their Supply Chain management and, as a result, both their finances and value analysis.
1. Combine supplies
By merging supplies that fit well together and creating a package, hospitals can make Supply Chain a little simpler. Each item that is needed throughout a specific procedure, such as a spinal surgery, can be included in a kit to make the product evaluation all encompassing and more efficient (Popa, 2019).
2. Avoiding risk
Hospitals should take note of the fragility and riskiness of specific inventory processes. Ruben Taborda, the Senior Director of Supply Chain Customer Solutions at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, suggests hospitals can avoid risk with “an aversion to investments in advanced (enterprise resource planning) systems and a reliance on one central staff member for inventory and supply order” (Popa, 2019).
3. Listen to your physicians
The doctors are the ones who are often using the supplies. If hospitals seek physicians’ expert opinions, doctors can let their organizations know what is high and low priority (Popa, 2019). Physicians are the experts on most of the products within Supply Chain so it is best to include their expertise. Hospitals can also ask physicians about the best way to standardize the products they will be using. At GreenLight Medical, our software has doctors initiate the request which is important as the requester needs to be the first to accept any new product request.
4. Standardize products
If a hospital has a large number of doctors/physicians who are requesting a product, they have leverage during negotiations with a manufacturer. They might be able to secure a favorable contract with a GPO because a large number of requesters provides more purchasing power.
5. Conserve supplies as well as possible
One of the best ways to save money is to make sure that you aren’t discarding supplies that have not yet expired. There are programs that help with reducing large overstock. In her article about hospital overstock, Anzish Mirza describes a study that offered incentives for decreasing waste: “The supply costs dropped by 6.5 percent during the study period (Mirza, 2017).” If this practice could be replicated, hospitals would be able to significantly increase their bottom-line.
6. Order based on need
Another great way to prevent overstock and thus improve hospital’s Supply Chain management is to buy products based on need (Popa, 2019). Completely filling a facility’s storage space isn’t necessary and recognizing that is the first step in avoiding over purchasing supplies.
If hospitals adopt and implement the tips listed above, they will not only improve their Supply Chain processes but also their overall operations. The greatest impact will be on Supply Chain, but the changes will trickle down to many parts of the organization (Butvilofsky, 2014). By improving Supply Chain management, hospitals will lower their own spending and waste while also improving overall care, which will result in enhanced value analysis practices.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your organization’s supply chain management, please request a demo here.
Butvilofsky, R. (2014, July 1). Efficient Supply Chain Management Presents a Range of Benefits for Healthcare Institutions. Retrieved January 21, 2020, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/efficient-supply-chain-management-presents-a-range-of-benefits-for-healthcare-institutions.html
Mirza, A. (2017, March 9). Hospitals Waste Billions of Dollars in Medical Supplies. Retrieved January 21, 2020, from https://www.usnews.com/news/healthcare-of-tomorrow/articles/2017-03-09/hospitals-are-wasting-billions-of-dollars-worth-of-medical-equipment
Popa, R. (2019, October 3). 15 key ASC supply chain management tips. Retrieved January 21, 2020, from https://www.beckersasc.com/supply-chain/15-key-asc-supply-chain-management-tips.html