The Affordable Care Act has impacted nearly aspects of health care in the country and big hospital supply chains are among them, according to Forbes. Changes in how hospitals are reimbursed are leading institutions on a mission to find cost savings in previously unanalyzed areas. The supply chain has proven to be one place that hospitals have long since overlooked when trying to reduce spending.
Forbes explains that reducing costs in hospital supply chains is having a very noticeable impact in how the organizations receive medical supplies. While they once ordered in small amounts from large distributors, some health care facilities have realized they can tighten their budgets by cutting out the middle man. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is one example of a hospital that now leases a warehouse and hired workers. Despite the overhead costs, the organization saw a payback in just six months.
Searching For Additional Cost Savings In The Warehouse
The biggest payoff for UPMC came in the form of its warehouse management system. The ERP system allowed UPMC to improve automation and communication in the supply chain and led to the surprisingly fast payback. Part of taking advantage of a sophisticated ERP system is to integrate with barcode scanning software so that automated data collection can begin. With better data collection, inventory control and operational efficiency are both improved.
For an organization that is just beginning to warehouse its own supplies, data collection solutions should be implemented early. With accurate information provided in real time, a young warehouse can correct inefficiencies almost immediately and reap the rewards of the decision to take control of its supply chain. It is a smart move for larger health care facilities to begin warehousing their own supplies, however, they should make sure they stay abreast of industry trends just as supply chain managers in other industries do.