Effective collaboration between stakeholders lays the foundation for successful projects, especially in the healthcare industry where challenges are constantly evolving, and meaningful partnerships are critical to overcoming issues. In a professional setting, 97 percent of employees found that the quality of collaboration impacted the outcome of a task or project for better or for worse, according to a Salesforce Work.com study.
The Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI®) is a non-profit, member-driven community of healthcare supply chain thought leaders. The group gathered recently to discuss problems in the supply chain and find real solutions. They have two forums a year, and I just attended the Fall Forum in Dallas. Other than the fact that this whole group amazes me with their esprit de corps, I had three take-aways from this meeting.
As debate over how to view, and fund, healthcare through governmental reform progresses, it creates more budgetary pressures on healthcare facilities trying to manage an erratic stream of payments from disparate sources. However, things evolve, payment pressures will not abate, which is why having the supply chain involved at the decision-making level makes fiscal sense.
The supply chain represents 40 to 45 percent of hospital or healthcare system operating expense, second only to labor costs. This mix is expected to keep shifting, with the supply chain potentially overtaking labor costs within the next 5 years. Creating successful supply chain strategies requires a top- down approach with knowledgeable stakeholders involved at the highest levels.
With most healthcare organizations spending as much as 38% of their budget on supply chain activities, effective supply chain management is an absolute must in the healthcare industry. Supply chain activities are the second largest and fastest growing expense for medical facilities, second only to labor costs. Effective supply chain management is thus an extremely important added value to any healthcare organization's overall operations.
“Best in class.”
Here’s another often-cited quote: “You can’t argue with success.” If you want to be a high achiever and successful within your own organization, Bob Engel, C.P.M., says to look to the processes and practices used by the most successful industry leaders. He says, “In today's economic environment, doing what you've always done—even if you do it very well—is no longer acceptable. Under pressure to contain costs and produce results despite challenging circumstances, you (and many other supply chain managers) must transform rather than simply improve your operation.”
It does not take much strength to do things,
but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.
- Elbert Hubbard
When you’re about to begin planning a project to develop a primary care facility, you may divide that project into phases. One of those phases will likely be supplies and equipment provision/acquisition. If you’re in charge of medical equipment procurement, you already know what the basic minimum equipment should include, and here’s a short – and by no means complete – basic list:
There is often a lack of understanding regarding the differences between the market segments of acute and non-acute facilities. These differences can have an immediate effect on the way products are ordered. More importantly, they can have an effect on how they are delivered, which can translate into high costs for non-acute customers and a potential supply chain nightmare.
With the multitude of tasks required in supply chain management, defining processes that are efficient and cost effective is important to ensure that you act in the best interests of both your own organization and that of your customers. Since materials management and purchasing exist in all fields of business, best practices tend to be germane to all industries, but there are some that are more specific to given industries, including healthcare.
Healthcare facility supplies and equipment continue to be one of the leading expenses per patient discharge. Lowering rising expenditures is driving procurement managers and buyers, administrators, and equipment planners/purchasers to utilize supply chain management to reduce rising healthcare costs for their medical organization.