National Health Care Supply Chain Week is taking place this week, October 1-7, 2023. It’s the time of year to recognize and celebrate the importance of healthcare supply chain professionals. These unsung heroes work diligently behind the scenes, ensuring that the healthcare system runs smoothly, and patients receive the care they need.
This article looks at four key ways that supply chain professional support efficiency:
- Continuous availability of medical supplies
- Reducing the cost of care by minimizing case costs
- Optimizing operational performance by lean supply chain management
- External supply chain partnerships
Supply chain partnerships
Supply chain staff play a crucial role in the delivery of high-quality patient care. As the sector becomes more complex, the people responsible for the continuous supply of medical inventory are increasingly reliant upon both internal and external partnerships.
That’s why the theme of this year’s Health Care Supply Chain Week is ‘The Power of Partnerships’. This theme underscores the critical role played by partnerships in the healthcare supply chain. These partnerships not only benefit the healthcare organizations themselves but also have a direct impact on the well-being of patients.
Here are four ways that supply chain partnerships enhance the quality of care.
1. Ensuring the ongoing availability of supplies:
Healthcare supply chain professionals are key players in guaranteeing the constant availability of critical medical inventory and supplies – this ensures maintaining relationships with a complex range of partners.
Materials management staff use their partnerships to ensure that hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers and healthcare facilities are well-equipped to deliver life-saving care at a moment’s notice. They are skilled in monitoring supplies, anticipating demand and liaising with supply chain partners to ensure nurses and physicians have the right inventory to hand just when they need it.
Tip: Having full stock visibility, timely consumption data and data insights, ensures accurate restocks and avoids stock-outs.
2. Keeping the cost of care down:
Collaborative efforts within the supply chain help control healthcare costs. By working closely with suppliers and leveraging their collective purchasing power, healthcare organizations can negotiate better deals on essential medical supplies and equipment, ultimately reducing the financial burden on patients and healthcare systems. There are many ways to streamline suppliers, standardize supplies and reduce the inventory – but this takes hard work, skill and communication.
Tip: Capture timely and accurate supply chain data to boost your negotiating power in vendor negotiations.
3. Ensuring operational performance:
The healthcare supply chain is a complex web of interconnected processes. Vital supply chain data supports crucial internal workflows, so collaboration and data sharing with departments such as finance, billing and RCM is essential. Medical supplies are a key cost and a major revenue source, so keeping accurate data and communicating this within the organization is key.
Tip: Ensuring healthcare supply chain data capture tools have seamless interoperability with core hospital systems is vital for efficient healthcare management.
4. External partnerships::
Beyond internal collaboration, external partnerships are equally crucial. Collaborating with external stakeholders, such as distributors, vendors, and technology suppliers, fosters innovation and the adoption of cutting-edge solutions. These partnerships enhance the agility and adaptability of healthcare supply chains, allowing them to continually improve effectively and emerge to opportunities and challenges. Gaining shared vision of inventory supports the mutual understanding of all parties.
Tip: Ensure joint inventory vision supports enhanced synergy. Trust follows transparency.
Healthcare supply chain professionals are forging closer partnerships with internal contacts and external supply chain stakeholders – these closer working relationships ensures improved efficiency in the healthcare inventory management.
This week let’s celebrate the commitment of hardworking supply chain professionals and acknowledge the transformative power of partnerships in healthcare.
If your supply chain management could benefit from improved stock visibility, enhanced consumption data or shared systems with stakeholders, contact us to find out the role technology can play in supporting supply chain partnerships.