Automating the Hospital Supply Chain

Hospitals spend billions of dollars each year ordering medical supplies required for medical procedures. But the sad fact is that a lack of efficiency within the hospital supply chain also creates billions of dollars in excess costs every year. Fortunately automating a hospital’s supply chain will simultaneously cut costs and make hospital supplies more easily replenished.

Why Automating the Supply Chain Is Important

Automating a hospital supply chain helps to reduce needless paperwork while simultaneously allowing hospital administrators greater choice in procuring medical supplies from manufacturers at the best price. According to Health Affairs doctors were only able to correctly estimate the price of an orthopedic implant 21% of the time. Hospital supply chain software like PeopleSoft SCM can keep both administrators and doctors better informed of procurement prices to help them make more informed hospital supply decisions. Making the hospital supply chain more efficient allows hospitals to cut their healthcare costs without adversely affecting patient care.

How Do Hospitals Automate Their Supply Chains?

The key to hospital supply chain automation is having the proper supply chain software. In the dark ages of hospital supply procurement, the procedure usually involved peeling barcode stickers from used medical supplies, pasting those stickers onto a clipboard and then later typing those barcodes into an order form that gets channeled back to hospital administrators. The actual orders were either placed by hand or transmitted by fax, which is not a great way to run a cost efficient operation. But when software enters into the equation, hospital administrators are given a wealth of data on which they can act upon. For example, doctors who order durable medical equipment might vary widely on how much these medical devices cost with no discernible impact on patient outcomes. The ability to see data on hospital supply usage patterns also allows administrators to keep less inventory on hand. By using a coherent supply chain management software platform like PeopleSoft, hospitals avoid IT fragmentation. It’s inefficient to use one system to source vendors, another system to find pricing and then a third system to purchase medical items. Now imagine a fourth system that needs to be implemented to track how these ordered items are used. Having an integrated supply chain management solution avoids these fragmentation problems that cost hundreds of hours of lost time every week in hospitals all over the country. For more information on modernizing your hospital’s supply chain, feel free to contact us.

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