6 key ASC supply chain tips to know

Six supply chain experts shared their insights on how to improve ASC supply chain tips with Becker's ASC Review:

1. Beverly Bryant, MSN, RN, administrator and director of Yuma (Ariz.) Endoscopy Center:

"We have a dry erase supply board [where] anyone (even our cleaning crew) can write what supplies are running low or out. This triggers the supply technician to track a previous order or order the item immediately. She also indicates on the board when the item is due to arrive, or if it's back-ordered. This helps with catching things in enough time to order them without having to pay for overnight charges. I also am constantly reviewing the supply invoices to monitor price increases."

2. Mandie Shipp, BSN, RN, senior consultant of the clinical operations ambulatory care segment at Cardinal Health:

"I've seen centers employ a full-time materials supervisor with experience in supply chain and a healthcare background, to manage the supply chain through data analysis and cost evaluation. They also look at benchmarking data to improve their ASC's performance and spend with centers comparable to their own to identify development opportunities and implement change."

3. Jeff Berman, principal of Grant Thornton's operations transformation:

"Many leaders are looking to the supply chain as a value enabler by conducting process optimization and implementing new operating models that rapidly drive out costs. Involving key stakeholders across finance, supply chain and clinical operations is critical to breaking down barriers and driving a common goal of efficiency and effectiveness."

4. Neil Olderman, partner at law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath and president of consulting firm Innovative Health Strategies:

"The need to manage the patient's successful outcome will force ASCs to drive the need for greater collaboration among providers and obtain better data and deeper insights into what works for patients best. Again, as in other instances within healthcare, we expect to see a cottage industry emerge around improving outcomes and the patient experience in the outpatient surgery setting."

5. Ann Castro, BroadJump's vice president of non-acute sales:

"In order to improve supply chain operations, ASCs need to start by tackling the big-ticket items. Those that handle a surgery center's supply chain needs can often get busy. However, focusing on the areas that might truly be hurting the center’s financial health can have an extremely beneficial outcome. This can be done by using data analytics tools that aggregate all of a center's data into one place, providing an overall view of supply spend, as well as a breakdown by category. This allows a surgery center to decide where to devote their time and resources in order to maximize savings and efficiency."

6. Cheryl Poplaski, Vizient's senior director of supply chain operations:

"Start by taking a hard look at your supply chain operations to fully understand and anticipate risks you may experience when the inevitable inventory disruption occurs. What you do today will make a difference to your clinicians and patients when critical supplies are not readily available. What times of the year do you typically see spikes? Do they occur during flu season, wintertime or summer vacation? Consider adjusting your ordering and coordinating with manufacturers and distributors for anticipated increases in usage."

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