ASC supply chain tip of the day: Copy what works at hospitals

Hospital-based supply chain strategies often work for ASCs too, said Molly Ehrlich, Vizient's consulting director of advisory solutions for supply chain operations.

She shared the following supply chain tip with Becker's ASC Review:

Technology and process standardization are your friends when working to improve the supply chain process in an ASC. To marry technology with good inventory management practices ASCs should consider these four proven strategies:

1. Use a maintenance management information system or a stand-alone inventory management system and put the items into a perpetual inventory program. Enlist expertise to establish appropriate maxes and reorder points for items. Track stockouts and inventory turns to determine when adjustments to inventory levels should be made.

2. Use a distributor so that most items will come from one source - deliveries, vendors and purchase orders are minimized.

3. Use group purchasing options to access established contracts with pre-negotiated pricing —not just on patient-use products but also on additional products or services you may require such as couriers, software, product storage carts and shelving.

4. Make good use of electronic data interchange technologies by, initially, joining an exchange, then making use of such transaction sets as the 810, 850 and 856.

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