Top 6 supply chain tips to know — Automation, supplies recycling & more

Written by Rachel Popa | February 04, 2019 | Print  |

Here is a collection of the top supply chain insights published by Becker's ASC Review:

Use reusable items responsibly: "Reusable items may indeed offer cost savings, but they are not the right choice for every ASC or even every surgeon. … In a high-volume surgery center, it can be hard to properly maintain reusable items according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. … Untrained or rushed staff can damage instruments, leading to expensive repair or replacement costs," said Sam Goldberger, MD, an ophthalmologist who practices in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Master supplies management: "When done well, supplies management is nearly invisible. Not done well, supplies management can lead to extra costs and even cancelled patient cases," said Molly Ehrlich, Vizient's consulting director of advisory solutions for supply chain operations.

Make supply chain education fun: "The first thing I encourage ASC supply people to do is to help the physicians understand [the cost of products] by either putting up information in the physicians' lounge or other areas where physicians tend to wait — to help them understand the actual costs of the choices they're making,"
said Quorum Purchasing Advantage Vice President Tony Bramer. "That can be done by a little display table. I've seen some people do it through various games and contests [like], 'Guess which item's more expensive."

Collaborate with physicians to standardize products: "Alternate sourcing can reap big savings and eliminate waste by allowing for variable quantity purchases, [like if a practice] needs two instead of a box of six. Technology can help evaluate what's being used and why, as well as help to standardize and reduce. Collaborating with physicians to standardize products and procedures is always a big benefit," said H-Source CEO John Kupice.

Review data: "When suppliers regulate product distribution by allocation amounts, check your data and review with your sales rep to ensure allotment is sufficient to cover actual usage," said Vizient's Cheryl Poplaski, senior director of supply chain operations.

Automate order confirmations: "Often, ASC team members need to shift among multiple roles, so it's hard to find time to confirm that orders are received and being processed. By combining [Electronic Data Interchange] technology and advanced email confirmation tools, users can confirm a very high percentage of orders electronically. When this information is delivered back into the supply chain system, users can simply manage orders by exception," Inventory Optimization Solutions Vice President of Business Development Jeff Lawrence wrote in a blog post.

More articles on supply chain:
HIPAA One joins athenahealth's Marketplace
3 ways ASCs can leverage a strong distributor relationship
ASC supply chain tip of the day: Conduct trial labs

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