Hospitals Missing Opportunity to Leverage Supply Chain Management

by Ruth Seeley

Even though 87% of hospital leaders think supply chain management (SCM) can increase margins by more than 1%, and 86% also believe it can improve care quality, almost half the respondents to a survey done for Syft by Sage Growth Partners are using manual processes that can’t provide either sophisticated or proactive analyses.

Designed to determine how supply chain management is being prioritized, managed, and leveraged as a strategic business function, Sage surveyed 100 hospital leaders involved with SCM. The top barrier to reducing supply chain waste was pinpointed as surgeon alliances to vendors and supplies. But clinical staff who don’t have time to evaluate supplies pre- and post-procedure, the wrong workflows and technology, and staff resistance to change were other issues.

Increasing pressure on margins

“Hospitals are facing increasing pressures on their margins, and on their ability to deliver quality care,” said Todd Plesko, Syft’s CEO. “It’s amazing that while the large majority of survey respondents believe SCM can improve costs and care quality, fewer say they’re actually deploying advanced supply chain analytics to take advantage of that potential impact, which presents a major missed opportunity.”

The study showed that close to 20% of respondents don’t analyze their supply chain, and 75% of those using SCM solutions are only performing basic analytic functions rather than more advanced ones—such as accessing data on case cost in operating rooms, managing expired supplies, or surgeon supply use variance.

“Hospital leaders are going to need to use every tool in their toolbox to succeed, and they will need to turn the supply chain into a strategic business lever—not only to save money, but to improve clinician satisfaction, patient outcomes, and the care patients receive.”

When Syft looked at OR procedures specifically, they found 37% use Excel or other Microsoft tools to track margins by case while 36% use a specific technology solution to track margins.

Source:  Syft

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