Let’s look at how cloud computing eases use and how it can address the compliance/maverick-spending dilemma. A key fob-sized barcode scanner worn on a lanyard would make it easy and inexpensive to track inventory. While radio frequency identification (RFID) may require zero human interaction, it is simply not economically feasible for tracking low-cost supplies. While the cost of this technology may be justified for chain-of-custody items like specimens and expensive devices and pharmaceuticals, logic dictates that the value of merchandise should be tied to the cost of the technology to track it.
Supply Chain Visibility in Days—Not Weeks or Months
The sooner IDN and hospital supply chain managers are able to effectively keep track of their item files, stay updated on contract pricing and validate prices against purchase orders, the faster an acquisition can reduce costs. As previously discussed, cloud-based inventory management solutions allow hospitals to quickly see an ROI because they don't need to purchase expensive hardware and the technology doesn't require a lot of training to use. Supply chain managers who use the cloud to manage their inventory have greater visibility into what items need to be ordered to ensure physicians have a strong supply of what they need.
There is no easier and faster way to set up and use an inventory management system than one that resides in the cloud. It’s a matter of logging in, configuring vendors and supplies, and you’re done in less than a week. Compare this arrangement with a traditional system that requires expensive hardware, software and extensive (and expensive) IT involvement that can actually cause inadvertent delays.
In summary, a cloud-based inventory management and requisition solution effectively provides precise inventory management, reduced inventory requisition costs and immediate supply chain visibility for the new outcome-based Medicare reimbursement environment under the Affordable Healthcare Act.
John Freund is president and CEO of Jump Technologies, a company that combines smart technology with the convenience of cloud computing for supply chain management solutions. Freund is an entrepreneur and IT professional with more than 25 years of experience in helping start-up companies introduce new technologies to the market. He acquired Jump Technologies in 2000 with a vision of simplifying the online buying experience.