The use of information systems in healthcare has accelerated dramatically over the past decade. Just seven years ago, most physicians had yet to meet the Centers for Medical and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) meaningful use standards for electronic health records (EHRs). Today, over 95% have satisfied the requirements.
It’s not just EHRs that have shaken up healthcare. Many hospitals are using complex data-analytics tools, artificial intelligence, and clinical surveillance platforms to enhance patient care and improve efficiencies.
Still, one major hospital function is decades behind in applying technology to optimize performance: supply-chain management.
Considering that supply-chain optimization can save hospitals millions due to improved operational efficiency and inventory management, this is a glaring omission. Benefits of a more automated, streamlined, and data-driven approach to supply-chain management include:
Sixty-four percent of hospitals still use paper and Excel-based systems to track and monitor inventory, and nearly 20% of hospitals aren’t tracking any metrics at all, according to a 2019 survey of 100 hospital executives and supply-chain leaders by Sage Growth Partners, a healthcare consulting firm.
This is both inefficient and a significant waste of money. A report released last November by Navigant Consulting found that tightening control over the supply chain and identifying waste could help reduce expenses by an average of 17.4%, or $12.1 million annually, per hospital. Importantly, the analysis also found that a decrease in supply spending doesn’t translate to lower quality care.
If your hospital is ready to make supply chain optimization a priority in 2020, here are some of the first steps to take:
Get your new year off to a great start by optimizing your hospital’s supply chain. Use advanced supply-chain management tools that take advantage of AI’s growing power, and your hospital will reap big dividends for years to come.
Brion Bailey is chief commercial officer at Syft, a provider of supply-chain management services to hospitals.
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