How to streamline your supply chain

Written by Super User on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Posted in Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are faced with many challenges. To remain competitive in the eyes of consumers, a facility must continue to offer the highest quality, cutting-edge patient care. However, to do this is costly for facilities to maintain, so working within budget is a main concern. Streamlining your supply chain is a good way to address critical budgetary issues.

A facility's supply chain—everything that is involved in the process of providing care to patients, including staff, activities, information, medical supplies and equipment—needs to be efficient to be effective. By simplifying internal processeshospitals and healthcare systems can improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations and ultimately enhance patient care, reduce overall spending and increase profits.

Medical staffing—save time and money

To streamline your staffing supply chain, be strategic in your staffing decisions and consider working with a medical staffing specialist. By doing this, you can minimize the time and expense it takes to find, interview, hire and train new staff. A staffing service provides you with a single source for qualified, experienced, fully vetted nurses and other healthcare professionals. Also, you'll be able to draw from a much larger pool of candidates, since temporary staff is often available to travel to your location from most parts of the country.

Care coordination—improve efficiency and care

Improved staff communication allows for the most comprehensive and effective patient care. One way to maximize communication efficiency is through electronic health records. With electronic records, authorized members of a patient's care team can gain access to the most up-to-date information. Electronic health records are especially helpful when a patient is traveling between care settings because they give the team a better understanding of the patient, and prevent medical errors or unnecessary tests.

Medical supply purchasing—ways to streamline

Your staff needs adequate medical supplies on hand to treat patients. The key to streamlining your supply chain for these items is working in collaboration with your healthcare team and your vendors.

  • Standardize your supplies. Review with your department heads the pharmaceuticals and supplies you use most,      and those rarely or never used. You may be able to remove items you never use from your inventory. If you prefer to keep certain items on hand for potential situations, consider maintaining a much smaller supply.
  • Negotiate with vendors. Most vendors will offer discounts for purchasing in volume, this way; you'll be able to stock more of the items your staff uses frequently. Ordering in bulk can also reduce the time you'll need to spend monitoring your inventory and reordering supplies.
  • Evaluate and maintain your equipment. Evaluate the medical equipment your team uses to determine whether the expense to support it is worth the purchase price of the equipment. For expensive medical equipment, consider hiring a technician—rather than relying on a contracted service—to extend the equipment's life expectancy.

Streamlining is an important consideration for improved patient satisfaction and cost reduction. Though it may take a little extra effort and planning, you'll be able to refine the steps and resources involved in your daily operations. The improvements in patient care and overall spending will be well worth the time investment.

Health Providers Choice specializes in partnering with medical facilities by streamlining their staffing needs. This helps decrease their hiring and staffing costs, while providing the facilities with qualified healthcare employees. Contact our recruiting specialists today to learn more!

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