From the June 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
In the next 12 months, we’ll see an acceleration of technology advancements that enable supply chain improvements.
Hospitals will sharpen their focus on improving business processes that close gaps while lowering costs, and as a result, will work to identify new technology solutions that more cost-effectively support their businesses.
The Predictions List:
1) We will see an upsurge in the importance of the supply chain in addressing the budget impact of the ACA. From a 2014 survey completed by health care consultant Jamie C. Kowalski, CEO of Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting, LLC, 91 percent of hospital Cleveland executives and supply chain leader respondents agreed that supply chain management is one of the top three expense reduction strategies hospitals will use to meet the challenge of health care reform.
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2) Hospitals will change their inventory management approach from “one size fits all” to select approaches that meet both clinical and supply chain management requirements. A supply chain leader at a Pennsylvania medical center recently noted approximately 75-80 percent of the supplies purchased by his organization cost under $20 each, yet hospitals spend millions in software, labor and cabinets to track and replenish even the most inexpensive item. Toward the goal of reducing these costs, a “two bin” (also known as Kanban) approach will rapidly gain acceptance for management of medical-surgical supplies. Using a two bin approach can drastically reduce costs compared to cabinet or open shelving solutions, and with available reporting tools, can provide supply chain executives with much-needed velocity visibility while simultaneously increasing nursing satisfaction.
3) In the coming year, more progressive organizations will make mobile business intelligence their users’ primary experience, not just an occasional convenience. In health care, access and adoption of mobile technology has grown significantly but has not yet begun to deliver high value. Supply chain professionals are uniquely positioned to lead a hospital’s mobile strategy by showing the cost savings of deploying on a non-proprietary, inexpensive and easy-to-manage mobile platform like Android or iOS-based devices.
4) Building on the prediction of greater adoption of mobile technology, in the next 12 months Information Technology (IT) leaders in hospitals will turn to mobile- and cloud-based solutions to free internal IT resources to manage their highest priority projects.