Efficient supply chains have the ability to boost margins and improve bottom lines. However, a new report by Syft found that nearly half of hospital decision makers are still manually processing data instead of using more sophisticated analytics tools.
While many hospitals recognize supply chain management as a priority, there hasn't been a technology investment to improve its performance. The report found that only 13 percent of organizations have made it their highest operation investment priority this year, while many of those surveyed are focusing on areas such as patient throughput and process improvement.
Healthcare IT News reports that hospitals are recognizing that effective supply chain management would improve quality and ability to deliver value-based care. However, with only 27 percent of those surveyed said they haven't deployed analytics software to assess their supply chains for areas to improve quality and efficiency, while 19 percent aren't even analyzing data at all. If they are analyzing, low-tech approaches are often common.
"Specific to operating room procedures, 37 percent use Excel or other Microsoft tools to track margins per case," the report details. "Twenty-seven percent use other low-tech tools, don’t know if they track OR margins, or do not track those margins. Thirty-six percent use a specific technology solution to track OR margins."
Despite the findings, many hospitals are utilizing innovative technology, such as blockchain, to manage their supply chain.
"As we move towards value-based care models, hospitals are facing increasing pressures on their margins, and on their ability to deliver quality care," says Syft CEO Todd Plesko in a statement. "It’s amazing that while the large majority of survey respondents believe SCM can improve costs and care quality, fewer say they’re actually deploying advanced supply chain analytics to take advantage of that potential impact, which presents a major missed opportunity. Hospital leaders are going to need to use every tool in their toolbox to succeed, and they will need to turn the supply chain into a strategic business lever – not only to save money, but to improve clinician satisfaction, patient outcomes, and the care patients receive."