Utilising Technology for Improving Medical Supply Management
Examining medical supply ordering procedures is essential for physician offices looking to cut operating expenses. The bottom half of practices' balance sheets can be unduly inflated by manual inefficiencies that can be eliminated by using technology to automate their medical supply management process.
In reality, there are some crucial steps in the supply chain management process. Physician practices looking to cut costs in the new value-based care environment can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the whole medical supply inventory process by automating each step with digital solutions.
1. Automate Medical Supply Assessment
Assessment is the first stage of the supply chain management process. This is knowing what a practice has on hand and what it needs to take care of patients. That procedure is typically manual and disorganised. The typical process involves not knowing what is required, how many are required, or where to obtain what is required.
For a physician's office, medical supply management systems like barcoding and scanners can automate each of those three choices. They are aware of the need. They are aware of the appropriate quantity of each item to have on hand at any given time. They also know where a practice can purchase the necessary quantities and materials at the appropriate times.
That not only shortens the supply chain process but also increases accuracy and minimises mistakes like buying too much of one thing while not ordering enough of another. Additionally, it directly affects the standard and safety of patient treatment.
2. Consolidate Medical Supply Procurement
The procurement process is the next phase in the supply chain management process. This means going out and identifying and obtaining the office and medical supplies that are tracked by the evaluation. Technology automates and streamlines that process, so a practice doesn't have to make numerous phone calls to different vendors or visit numerous websites to find what they need. One main example is a single website that a clinic uses to order the majority of its lab, medical-surgical, and office supplies.
There will always be an ad hoc item that needs to be handled outside the single portal, but it should be the exception rather than the rule. That said, a single portal technology solution should be used by a practice to purchase 90% of its needs.
3. Manage Medical Supply Receiving Online
Receiving is the third phase in the supply chain management procedure. That entails ensuring that a practice receives the proper supplies, the right volume of goods, and the right prices. When the box is found at the front desk, it can be manually done by comparing the packaging slip to everything that is inside.
Or it can be automated using technology akin to that used to send email or text message notifications and confirmations for consumer retail purchases made through an online shopping platform.
4. Reconcile Medical Supply Order Electronically
Reconciliation is the fourth and last step in the supply chain management process. Usually, the individual placing the order is different from the person making the payment. The accounting department receives invoices electronically and compares them to the purchase order, shipping confirmation, and invoice to ensure the practice pays the correct amount for the items it bought. Accurate and prompt payment for medical supplies is the end outcome. Additionally, such a strategy produces an electronic audit trail for purchases.
Overall, technology can play a pivotal role in improving medical supply management. Organisations can improve their inventory management and streamline their supply chains by automating processes and using data analytics. In turn, this can help to reduce costs, improve patient care and outcomes, and increase efficiency.
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