The Value of Primary Care Supply Chain Management

he supply chain management of primary care practices is becoming increasingly important. Even though it accounts for less than four percent of clinic expenses, this cost can include a significant amount of time – time that could be better spent focused on patient care.

While clinicians need to spend their time with patients, it is also imperative to have the right product when you need it. Understanding the value of your supply chain management is essential in maximizing your time and patient outcomes.

A Primary Care Cost Breakdown
The majority of primary care costs are spent on personnel. The Medical Group Management Association reports that over 80 percent of clinic costs are spent on people, with 45.9 percent spent on physicians and 37.2 percent spent on supporting medical staff.

In fact, only 3.31 percent of costs are spent on medical and surgical supplies, a cost that compares with 3.57 percent spent on building and occupancy expenses. Because this cost is so small, it is often overlooked as a process improvement area.

Components of Supply Chain Management
Since there are so many factors that influence the supply chain, disruption can occur. When this happens, it requires extra staff time to determine a way to get the needed products. If products arrive late, patients may not get the care they need.

In order to minimize disruption, it is important to consider all the components of supply chain and streamline processes. Some of the components to consider include:

  • Product selection
  • Ordering and receiving processes
  • Proper storage and special handling
  • Inventory control such as par levels
  • Product expiration
  • Lead times
  • Product substitutions
  • Logical units of measure
  • Return processes
  • Biomedical repairs

The components of the supply chain can be challenging. In an environment where patient care is what matters, minimizing the valuable staff time spent in supply chain management is critical.

Concordance Healthcare Solutions understands that primary care practices are different and supply change needs vary. We will work with you to design a customized supply chain management and delivery plan for your specific needs. Contact us to see how we can enhance the value of your supply chain.

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