Healthcare Supply Chain Best Practices
Ready to implement new supply chain automation software? Take steps on the front end to prepare your team and organization for process improvements. It’ll not only save time on the back end, it will get you to financial results more quickly. The top tip from other organizations? Invest time to get your data in order. Accuracy enables automation, eliminates manual rework, and puts you on the path to savings.
Your item master will become the hub of your future-state procurement processes. Complete, well-structured data is an essential building block for successful automation. Take time on the front end to assemble accurate data for your item master, and you’ll save enormous staff time and costs on the back-end, when your new materials management system is up and running.
Establishing standardized methods for purchase order creation is the foundation of seamless and smooth order management processes. Set goals and take steps to achieve automation: enable efficient and accurate processes; create visibility to enterprise-wide purchasing; bring more of your organization’s spend under management.
A key foundational piece of an automated and accurate purchasing process is creating appropriate steps to purchase order approval. Establishing processes specifically for purchase order approval puts the checks and balances in place that help you manage your organization’s purchasing and reduce overspending.
Are your vendors confirming purchase orders? When you maximize electronic notifications (855s for EDI or even just a confirmation email on POs), you’ll increase accuracy and decrease back-orders, stock-outs and decrease discrepancies. Purchase Order confirmations will help your organization manage by exception, eliminating the need to manage every order, every line item.
Using a warehouse or central supply area for inventory and fulfillment? Implement requisitioning software to drive automation and accuracy for your clinical staff and other end users. You’ll improve inventory levels, eliminate paper, increase purchase and use of on-contract products, and gain visibility to supply use by department. (Plus, it saves time for your staff every time they order.)
Well-organized inventory areas are critical for easy access to supplies, accurate ordering, ongoing cost reductions and reduction of product waste due to expiration. Based on workflow and the patient care being delivered, organize your physical spaces to drive efficiencies for your facility!
Knowing what you’ve ordered and what you’ve received is a critical component of delivering timely, effective patient care. To be sure you’ve got the supplies needed for upcoming procedures, perform daily receiving of incoming supplies. You’ll increase system-wide visibility to current inventory, and it’s a key piece of more accurate, automated materials management processes.
Tracking item consumption provides information critical to managing your organization’s supply chain, for example, it helps maintain perpetual inventory, reduce on-hand supplies, and track lot, serial numbers and expiration dates. When you improve the management of inventory and item consumption, you’ll reduce cost, loss and waste, and can improve cash flow and revenue.
Some of your most significant cost saving opportunities come by improving inventory management. This is the place that true hard dollar savings exist, and you’ll achieve these savings by improving visibility to inventory across your organization. Improve planning and forecasting, and reduce over ordering and over spending, to improve cash flow.
Taking a physical count of supplies helps validate on-hand inventory, identify trends within specific departments, procedural areas or product categories, manage expiring supplies and assess value of on-hand inventory. This information is vital to your organization’s financial outlook, plus it improves accuracy in tasks like resetting par levels, forecasting, contract management and replenishment.
Accounts Payable (AP) Processes are key to a highly efficient, automated and accurate supply chain. Here, you’ll ensure you’re getting the most from your contracts and approved products. Improving AP reduces staff time and ensures invoices are correct. Validate that you’ve received the items being billed and the price is correct, plus take advantage of savings opportunities like early pay discounts.