Concordance Healthcare Solutions Blog

How Medical Supply Distributors Influence Service in Health Systems

How Medical Supply Distributors Influence Service in Health Systems

Posted: 6/20/18 2:16 PM    Author: Concordance Healthcare Solutions
  

With the complexities of the healthcare system, there are many areas to consider when evaluating service. It's important to consider all areas as a whole to determine how they work together to influence outcomes. A key area that supports the healthcare provider’s ability to deliver exceptional service is the medical supply chain. High service levels throughout the supply chain can have a direct impact on the ability to provide patient care that results in increased patient satisfaction. 

However, limited staff and resources can make it challenging to find time to ensure you are providing exceptional service. Therefore, it's important to work closely with business partners who share your desire to deliver service levels that result in high patient satisfaction.

A medical supply distributor can play a vital role in ensuring your supply chain is as efficient as possible. By listening to your needs, working closely with the supplier community and presenting options, a customized plan can be developed. This customization can assist in ensuring processes are running smoothly and achieving your desired outcomes. 

Some attributes of distributors that provide high levels of service include:

  1. Transparency
  2. Customer focus
  3. Flexibility

Transparency

Transparency is achieved when all the information needed to make an informed decision is provided. In healthcare, the concept of transparency is being widely accepted as consumers become more educated. 

There are many examples of how transparency is being supported today. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use Hospital Compare to provide information regarding quality of care provided by hospitals. Providers are focusing attention on making sure that patients are informed of diagnosis and related treatment options. And health systems are looking throughout the system to determine ways to manage the cost of patient care.

When reviewing the cost of patient care, the supply chain is an area that can gain efficiencies that can lead to cost control. For instance, when managing medical supplies, there are multiple factors that are considered when reviewing pricing. It's often difficult to gain the information needed to ensure that you are receiving the best options. This can be a time-consuming process that leads to discrepancies and rework.

Working with a medical supply distributor that focuses on transparency can help make this process easier. They can provide information on various contract options, review analytics and ensure pricing accuracy throughout your health system.

Customer focus

As health systems focus on the service levels needed to provide high patient satisfaction, it's even more important that their business partners have the same focus. There are many ways that distributors can assist health systems in achieving high service levels.

Although providers throughout the healthcare continuum experience similar challenges as the industry changes, each health system continues to have unique attributes. Depending on location, population served and many other factors, each health system has its own objectives and goals to meet. As a partner, distributors that focus on each health system individually are able to capture these unique attributes and develop a customized plan.

There are many ways to provide individualized focus to health systems. One key strategy is to provide a dedicated customer resource. This enables the resource to gain an understanding of what the customer needs. It also gives the providers a streamlined approach in receiving information and getting resolutions quickly. By dedicating a resource, distributors and health systems can be certain that they are moving in the same direction and focusing on the same outcomes.

Flexibility

Focusing attention on a health system’s needs affords the distributor the ability to provide individualized service. In order to keep service levels high and individualize a service plan, flexibility must be front and center. 

What does flexibility really mean? Is it a willingness to review current processes, a desire to share ideas or a decision to alter the way things are done? Yes. It also means taking the time to openly explore new ways of doing things. It means working with health systems and suppliers to create a more efficient supply chain; empowering employees to adapt and make decisions. It means truly aligning goals to support the best outcomes.

At Concordance Healthcare Solutions, we strive to deliver service beyond expectations. We are dedicated to providing transparency, customer focus and flexibility as we deliver the highest quality products and supply chain optimization to health systems. Subscribe to our blog to catch our upcoming series where we'll discuss how we put this dedication to service into action.

New Call-to-action