Medical supply spending represents one of the largest expenditure items for community health centers. This, together with changes in the way Medicaid reimburses health centers, means that administrators need to minimize supply chain costs and other unnecessary expenditures. Simultaneously, it's imperative that patients are properly cared for and that supplies are available when needed; stock outages must be avoided.
To cope with these conflicting requirements, centers need responsive supply chain solutions and supply chain management tools to optimize inventory. Here are some ways this can be achieved.
Supply Chain Management
Community health centers treat a wide range of patients with different needs, and it's essential that the right medical supplies are always available. However, it's not cost-effective to maintain large inventories, so supplies need to be replenished as soon as they are used. Here's how this can be done:
- Immediate ordering: As stock is used, healthcare workers need to reorder replenishments without delay using online and web-based ordering systems.
- Management approvals: Approval of orders should be done online to avoid unnecessary delays.
- Inventory tracking: Usage is constantly monitored and replacement warnings automatically generated.
- Update patient records: It should be possible to update patient records using mobile tools.
Unnecessary paperwork is undesirable as healthcare workers are busy people who need to focus on their work. For this reason, it's important that online tracking tools provide the ability to keep track of costs and activity. Important features include:
- Usage warnings: Systems should automatically generate an email or SMS notification of high usage so line management can be made aware of this and respond.
- PPD cost: Automated tools provided to track patient per day costs.
- Automated order preparation: The preparation of repeat orders must be made as simple as possible with a high degree of automation.
Smart Reporting Tools
Online tools can provide healthcare workers and administrators with detailed reports periodically, as and when required. Typical reports would include:
- Daily: Track backorders, stock status, and price changes.
- Monthly: Order tracking, order fill rate, asset tracking and facility reporting.
- Quarterly: Key quarterly reports that track long-term trends as well as year-to-date summaries.
- Detailed reports: Reports providing details of orders, contracts, and stock items.
- Value-added tools: Various reports such as cost reduction and savings reports, prices, contract management and slow moving stock items reports.
Partnering With Concordance Healthcare Solutions
Community health centers are facing many challenges that threaten their ability to continue to provide quality low-cost medical care to underserved communities. Key to their ability to continue is the need to become as lean as possible and to eliminate waste. Concordance Healthcare Solutions, one of the largest healthcare distributors in the U.S., recognizes the importance of effective management of medical supply costs, and they offer three effective tools that help healthcare management provide effective care while controlling waste:
- uCommand®: A web-based ordering and mobile management system
- BeCompliant™: Web-based tracking of purchases and inventory
- SMART Reporting Tools: Management tools for monitoring daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly performance
To find out more, contact our nearest location.