Whether a small physician’s practice or a large multi-facility healthcare network, today’s healthcare providers need to make enlightened decisions when it comes to purchasing new medical equipment. Achievement of increased operational efficiency and lowering the overall costs associated with purchasing equipment are primary goals for all organizations.
From this perspective, one objective of healthcare delivery is to manage available resources so that the investment in capital equipment meets demands with the greatest effectiveness and efficiency possible, and meet the requirements of healthcare reform.
During this critical time in the healthcare industry, parties that have traditionally been viewed as somewhat adversarial are coming together to understand each other’s pain points and determine how their combined efforts can achieve mutual benefits. This is especially evident within the healthcare equipment delivery system, particularly with regard to manufacturers and distributors.
This relationship with medical manufacturers has the potential to evolve into innovative partnerships that go beyond simply providing the capital equipment. Better collaboration can assist in accomplishing three things: improve patient satisfaction, enhance quality outcomes, and reduce costs.
1. Patient Satisfaction
The relationship between providers and manufacturers has a direct role in patient satisfaction. Developing stronger relationships can lead to enhanced communication and exchange of ideas that promotes quality and process improvements for the manufacturers. This in turn can help address a variety of day-to-day issues that affect patient satisfaction, including:
Improved equipment design and function
Reduced equipment breakdown or malfunction
Enhanced patient safety and reduced patient stress
Improved ease of use and/or operation
Reduced risk of cross-contamination
More patients will benefit from high-quality medical equipment, and medical manufacturers can monitor and manage key issues to ensure high patient satisfaction.
2. Quality Outcomes
Quality outcomes cover many aspects of healthcare. Healthcare providers face enormous pressure to match resources to desired outcomes. One of the keys to achieving better quality outcomes is to demonstrate the value of manufacturing relationships as a critical asset to your organization. A valued relationship with your medical manufacturers shows up in a number of ways, including:
Employing new technologic developments to incorporate best practices
Reducing operational complexity of equipment to provide consistency among different persons (operators)
Enhanced durability with improved safety features
EMR conductivity reduces transcription errors
Ultimately, providers and manufacturers should develop a closer relationship and a shared commitment to achieving better outcomes.
3. Reduce Costs
Generally, healthcare providers and medical manufacturers are focused on the transactional aspects of the relationship. Today, you must find new and effective ways to work together to improve operations and reduce cost on both sides of the equation. The traditional adversarial nature of the relationship, which simply moved costs from one side to another, no longer works. Better collaboration between the parties can lead to a number of benefits, including:
Reduced need to interrupt patient care due to equipment breakdown or failure
Enhanced equipment design and features to get the patient well as soon as possible
Lower purchasing and operating costs
Instead of shifting costs, both parties gain a clearer understanding of each other’s pain points and share knowledge, information, and data freely.
As the healthcare delivery environment continues to evolve, the various stakeholders will continue to face an array of challenges and opportunities. Providers and manufacturers will need to have stronger collaboration across their respective organizations in order to produce both short-term and long-term gains in patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and reduced costs.
CME helps hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, and general practices across the nation with their medical equipment needs. As one of the oldest suppliers of medical equipment, we provide a full-service package, including warehousing, assembly, delivery, training, and much more. Our goal is to help you achieve your goals by recommending products that save you money and improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. Contact CME today and find out how we can deliver exceptional value and make your job easier.