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Clinical Integration and Supply Chain Excellence: What it Can Do for Your Hospital

If there is one positive from the pandemic, it’s that it has exposed opportunities for improvement in supply chain management. Healthcare leaders have faced a variety of challenges over the last several months from standing up virtual care programs to maintaining proper levels of PPE, ventilators, and medications. While patient safety remains a priority and is evidenced through limited visitors, enforcement of precautions, and more options for virtual care, supply chain optimization is advancing on the c-suite agenda and for good reason: Effective supply chain performance directly links to patient outcomes and clinical safety.

Supply chain management extends beyond acquiring the equipment and supplies needed for patient care to improving value, reducing cost, and integrating clinician input. The devices and supplies used have direct impact on patient care but there is typically a gap between how physicians work with supplies and how the supply chain works. Improving supply chain management through clinical integration can result in better patient outcomes and substantial savings each year.

For example, in the past, physicians such as surgeons had more latitude in selecting products of their preference, but the lack of standardization also resulted in higher medical supply spend. There was no way to gauge if the preferred improved clinical outcome was achieved, whether that's a reduced length of stay, shorter time in the operating room, fewer readmissions or less complications. Better management of product sourcing and selection and standardization of supplies can reduce costs within a health system while increasing clinical quality.

Eliminating silos and bringing together decision makers from within clinical specialties, supply chain, and finance can drive efficient and effective decisions. Physicians benefit from product selection that has been carefully chosen, more transparency in the decision-making process, and less pressure to cut costs. Patients benefit from better outcomes and reduced complications. Hospitals can better plan for and prepare for the next disruption and advance their quest to achieve the Quadruple Aim.

The Clinically Integrated Supply Outcomes Model, or CISOM, enables better automation of data capture, helping health systems understand which products and processes offer better outcomes and lower costs. CISOM is an eight-stage maturity model that lays the pathway to building a supply chain infrastructure that provides benefits in both quality and safety.

Smarter supply chain management may seem daunting, but enhancing patient experience, improving outcomes, reducing costs, and improving the work life of staff cannot happen without effective coordination between care givers, clinicians and supply chain team members. Healthcare systems require automated supply chain infrastructure at the point of care to proactively identify the risk of adverse events, to strengthen quality and safety for patients, and improve overall system performance.

Want to learn more about CISOM and how to adopt and implement the criteria to improve clinical supply chain management in your hospital? Contact Avaap for more information.