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Time to Shift the Focus to the Patient

Consumers are always looking for the most bang for their buck, and with rising medical costs, this concept is no different in healthcare. While patient satisfaction is complex and can be influenced by a number of things, it is known that it’s highly influenced by what the patient experiences. With increasing use of social media, patients can spread news quickly when they have a memorable experience, good or bad, at a given facility. Centering the focus of your supply chain on the patient will allow them to receive the best quality service possible and increase the number of positive experiences.

Any improvements to the front-line service must be initiated from the supply chain. Read on about how a patient-centric care system starts at the supply chain and why you need to run your healthcare facility this way.

Shifting Gears

As health systems look to better serve patients, there are lessons to be learned from other industries such as retail that have already shifted to a consumer-centric supply chain model. For example, when a retailer is out of a product, they lose a potential sale and may drive the consumer into a competitor’s arms. The result is a negative experience for the consumer and loss of business for the retailer. To prevent this, many retailers are adopting technology that streamlines supply chain processes and enables data capture, ensuring products are available at the shelf when and where a customer wants to buy it.

Similarly, if medical supplies aren’t readily available, nurses and care technicians need to leave the patient bedside to hunt them down. The result is excessive wait time, potential adverse effects and a poor experience. With a patient-centric supply chain, practitioners have the supplies they need when they need it and can spend more time at the patient bedside. When ERP information is integrated with the EHR, supply utilization is better understood and supplies can be seamlessly restocked, contributing to the positive patient experience.

Work without Waste

In an earlier blog post, we posed the question, "Is your Head Nurse a Hoarder?" We looked at how operational failures and hoarding wastes time and impacts service quality. When ordering is automated and directly connected to your supply chain, and everything the caregiver needs is there when they arrive in the room, removing the nurses’ need to stash supplies.

Automating ordering and supply chain processes eliminates waste by removing health professional’s need to hoard, which prevents supplies from being lost, misplaced, or forgotten about, eventually leading to expiration or contamination. It is also important that facilities work on interoperable systems, to streamline accurate, up-to-date information. This will allow for more strategic supply chain management and simplified day-to-day operations, thereby, reducing supply spend, staff time and ensuring that critical supplies are readily available at the point of use without burdening clinical staff so that they can stay focused on patient care.

Increase Face-Time

In a patient-centric supply chain, attention is brought back to the one individual who matters most: the patient. With automated ordering and supply delivery left in the hands of supply technicians, healthcare professionals can allot more time to the patient. Increased service quality is vital in the consumer-driven healthcare system, where patients expect a great experience as well as quality of care.

Greg Benton is vice president of Healthcare at Avaap. He has a track record of success working with healthcare organizations to implement and achieve optimized use of ERP and other strategic business applications.