Four Strategies Healthcare Organizations Can Use to Optimize Outcomes


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Hospitals and healthcare systems today are experiencing margin erosion more than any other industry in the U.S. With rising costs and lower reimbursement putting their financial future in jeopardy, they have no choice but to find new and different ways to protect their bottom lines (while simultaneously offering state-of-the-art care). Responsive measures such as pharmaceutical cost cuts, reducing staff and ongoing legislative action have garnered the most attention among executives, but the supply chain is actually where there is some of the most significant opportunity to reduce costs – and optimize efficiencies.

Simply put: Healthcare supply chain teams have a golden opportunity to leverage the knowledge and data available to them to not only maximize their current cost saving methods, but more, to pioneer new approaches to logistics and potentially game-changing solutions.

In a recent article that I contributed to Healthcare Purchasing News, I discuss four of these solutions in detail. You can read the full article here, or read on for a quick overview.

  1. Third-party logistics
    The numbers say it all. Partnering with a third-party logistics provider often saves about 30 percent in freight expenses. Still, it was recently estimated that half of healthcare organizations are still managing their own freight expenses and are leaving valuable cost savings on the table.
  1. Freight management
    Inbound and outbound freight management is the most basic healthcare logistics service, but it’s far from simple with small parcel, large cargo freight and international shipments coming in and out of hospitals every day, often at the initiation of numerous and varied individuals within the organization. Logistics partners can bring crucial visibility to where freight dollars are being spent as well as solutions to lower costs while increasing accountability.
  1. Courier and fleet services
    Evaluating courier and fleet services is the next logical step in the so-called ladder of logistics. There are no shortage of occasions where waste, redundancies and inefficiencies can occur – for example, duplicating routes within one courier fleet or not having visibility of multiple couriers delivering and retrieving at the same location. These costly mistakes can be avoided with courier management programs, which save healthcare systems millions of dollars annually.
  1. Shared fulfillment/central service center model
    While implementing these programs will certainly deliver savings and efficiencies, employing a more sophisticated approach, such as the shared fulfillment/central service center model, is ideal for healthcare facilities looking to take cost containment to the highest level.

It requires manufacturers on the front-end and multiple stakeholders throughout the healthcare system to collaborate with the supply chain team and agree to centralize stocking and storage facilities. Costs are, in turn, distributed across these multiple facilities, which can generate a wealth of savings, streamline operations and improve process flow. This simplifies the entire supply chain process and allows healthcare systems to restructure their supply chain strategy to accommodate supply standardization across an entire healthcare network.

For more on this topic, read the full article in Healthcare Purchasing News.