Supply Chain Management plays a vital role in our hospitals today. With the growing cost of healthcare and new technologies, it is vital for hospitals to run as efficiently as possible without jeopardizing care. To the materials manager and to the financial minds of a hospital the area of supply chain is a tedius task at best, the kind of planning, strategizing and measuring that seldom goes recognized and rewarded. The work involved with inventory control fits tightly within that description.
In many hospitals today, it is easy for inventory control to go astray and become uncontrolable. This is the case with I Care Healthcare System. Too many people with too much access to too much product procurement are controlling
supplies and equipment coming into the facility without any regulation or little oversight. While the blame for over-ordering is frequently pointed at nursing staff, famous for squirreling away unseen, already paid-for stocks of goods, they are not the only offenders. More accurately, when it comes to inventory, it's the system that fails a hospital, not its people, over what is essentially an asset management issue.
Currently I Care Healthcare System uses a mainframe that was develped internally with an outdated materials management system that allows you to generate purchase orders, but is lacking in running reports that track the usage. This is not uncommon in the hospital materials management environment. The process I mainly manual where requisitions are generated from the department, sent to purchasing, a purchase order is then generated and is faxed or called in to the manufacturer or Med/Surg distributor. Although the distributor has the ability to run re...
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...ure that they are honoring their agreement. Second, in the case of pharmacy, it allows the facility to be reimbursed for pharmaceuticals that were not available by the contracted supplier. This is important for the pharmacy, because when they have to look elsewhere for a substitute product that they do not have a contract for, they could spend many times more for that product. Lastly, it is an inexpensive solution to help monitor the supply chain, cut costs and look for opportunities whether they are contract or non-contract.
"The Role of Group Purchasing Organizations in the U.S. Health Care System," Muse & Associates, March 2000.
Werner, Curt. "Hospital supply chain earns high marks in face of SARS outbreak" Healthcare Purchasing news, July 2003.
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