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Medical Manufacturer Relationships: How to Maximize Their Value

By CME Corp Staff | June 11, 2017

No matter if it’s a small physician or a multi-facility healthcare network, it's important that healthcare providers and supply chain managers today make enlightened decisions about new medical equipment purchases. Achieving optimal operational efficiency and lowering the costs associated with equipment purchases is a primary goal for all organizations—which means that the objective of healthcare delivery is to manage resources to meet demands in the best way possible.

At this time in the healthcare industry, a number of different types of organizations—ones that have often been adversarial—are coming together to collaborate and understand each other’s pain points and determine how their combined efforts can work for their mutual benefit. This can be seen especially in the supply chain with hospital/clinic personnel, manufacturers, and distributors.  These collaborations can help with three things in particular: patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and cost reduction.

1. Patient Satisfaction

Developing stronger relationships between manufacturers and providers plays a large role in patient satisfaction—which means that enhanced communication and the exchange of ideas is good for promoting quality and process improvements in the long run. These relationships can also help address a number of day to day issues that influence patient satisfaction, including:

  • Improved equipment design and function
  • Reduced equipment breakdown or malfunction
  • Enhanced patient safety and reduced patient stress
  • Increased patient engagement
  • Improved ease of use and/or operation
  • Reduced risk of cross-contamination

When relationships develop in these areas, patients benefit because the collaboration focuses on that patient satisfaction issue as a goal.

2. Quality Outcomes

Healthcare providers all face a heavy pressure to match desired outcomes, which cover many aspects of their role today. Valued relationships with your medical manufacturers and distributors can help these outcomes in a number of ways, including:

  • Employing new technological 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

In the long run, a good, close relationship between providers and manufactures represents a shared commitment to achieving higher outcomes.

3. Reduce Costs

While it can be easy to focus on the transactional and monetary nature of the relationship between healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors, it is important to find new ways to work together to reduce costs, improve general operations, and streamline the supply chain process.

Classically, costs were moved from one side to the other between distributors and manufacturers, but that no longer works. Proper collaborations between these two parties can lead to numerous 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
  • Reducing the delivery and installation costs while streamlining the process
  • Lower purchasing and operating costs

In this way, both parties do more than just shift costs—they gain a clear understanding of one another’s struggles, sharing knowledge, information and data more clearly.

As the supply chain continues to evolve, the various stakeholders will continue to face an array of challenges and opportunities.  Providers, manufacturers, and distributors will need to have a 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. 

About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipment, turnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers.

With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule. Contact CME today and find out how we can deliver exceptional value and make your job easier.

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