We are breaking down supply chain management to celebrate National Healthcare Supply Chain Week to help your team bring back the focus to what matters most: patient care.
We started with a high-level overview of supply chain in healthcare. Yesterday, we covered activities that result in high supply costs and how supply chain software can help. If you missed reading these articles, you can find them here.
Throughout the week, we are covering a few benefits that come with a strategic supply chain process including reduced supply costs, increased efficiencies, and high quality patient care.
There’s So Little Time and So Much To Do
Supplies need to be ordered, patients need care, and charts need updated. There’s so many tasks that haven’t been checked off your to-do list and each day you continue to add more.
In healthcare, the opportunity to catch up and get ahead never seems to come around.
While we have yet to develop a software that will stop time and allow you to tackle that paper tornado of packing slips, we do have supply chain software that can help increase your efficiency.
What does it mean to increase efficiency?
Increase efficiency is the ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.
Supply chain software provides you an opportunity to automate your workflows using technology. From procurement to inventory audits to invoicing, your workflow can be streamlined and automated increasing overall efficiencies.
Increase Efficiencies Throughout Your Supply Chain Process
Tired of spending hours placing multiple orders daily from a handful of vendors via phone, fax, or email? Supply chain software eliminates that time consuming workflow.
Increase your efficiency by shopping from all your vendors in a single sign-on portal. Supply chain software, like Hybrent, puts your products, vendors, and prices in a single portal. This then allows you to price compare, use a customized search, and view item availability.
All those times you had to track down a coworker to approve a purchase order? Never again! Automate your approval workflow and let your software alert the individuals needed to move along your order faster.
What about those times when you have no idea where your order is? Most supply chain software has order tracking, so you can monitor the status of your order in the same portal.
Supply chain software not only automates your procurement process, but it also accurately manages your inventory.
Inaccurate supply counts, overstock, shortage, and inventory audits that take weeks cause chaos and reduce your efficiency.
Automated inventory management eliminates the errors that occur when done by hand. With supply chain software, inventory is automatically updated in the system to reflect supplies that have been ordered, in-stock, or are on back-order.
Which means the next time someone wants to know how many boxes of medium gloves you have, you’ll have the information you need to tell them how many boxes, where they are located, when your last order was, how many you ordered, the amount you’ve spent on medium-sized gloves in the past quarter or year, and so much MORE!
In addition to full visibility of supply spend and stock, supply chain software also eliminates overstock and shortage using PAR levels.
Based on your usage which can be accurately monitored through data tied directly to your inventory, you can set optimal PAR levels for supplies. Using barcode technology, supplies can be automatically depleted and, once reaching your set minimum level, reordered.
Barcoding can be used on your phone or tablet that you carry around to increase your efficiency and mobility of use. You can scan to deplete and order supplies making your inventory management process accurate and quick.
Your inventory is managed from procurement to use, and this information can be used to monitor supplies that have expiration dates. Using supply chain software to alert you when a supply is expired will increase patient safety.
Data and Reporting
How much are you spending on supplies? What percent of your budget is left to spend on supplies? How many of your items are expiring soon? How much inventory do you have on hand?
These questions are important and in some cases, hard to provide accurate and clear answers.
Supply chain software makes it easy to answer these questions because data is tied directly to your purchase history, inventory, and use. Future purchasing decisions require this information and if your data isn’t accurate you could be losing opportunities to save money.
Spend metrics, actionable reports, customizable reports, and data that can be downloaded for further manipulation are all possible with supply chain software.
Do you have multiple facilities that are each responsible for their own purchasing? Group reporting enables you to view spend and use throughout your entire organization providing you the visibility needed to make key business decisions.
How often have you paid more for supplies than you intended based on your initial order?
If you know this number, then you likely are using supply chain software. If you have no idea or believe that you have always been invoiced for the amount on your purchase order, you likely need supply chain software.
Similar to the automated approval process during the procurement stage, supply chain software can automate your invoicing process by integrating with your accounting software.
Integrations can save you time and money. Integrating with your accounting software automatically identifies invoice discrepancies through a 3-way match. This automated alert provides you the opportunity to correct costs before your accounting team cuts a check.
Supply chain software can also integrate with your practice management system (PMS) to eliminate manual double information entry saving your staff time. Integrating with your PMS makes it easy to tie implants directly to your patients and document device data and movement.
Make the investment to automate and upgrade your supply chain for your organization. Clinicians and physicians didn’t enter their profession to push paper. They want to spend their time doing what they do best: helping their patients and providing the best care possible. Using supply chain software can help them do just that.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of Hybrent’s National Healthcare Supply Chain Week on how to provide high quality patient care using supply chain software!