Global healthcare costs continue to soar. As per an analysis from US federal government actuaries, America spent a whopping amount of $3.65 trillion on healthcare in 2018. This skyrocketing amount is more than many countries’ GDP.
Further, US healthcare spending is expected to touch $5.5 trillion by 2025. These are astounding numbers which are only expected to increase owing to growing economic changes and aging population.
Cost reduction is elementary for healthcare’s survival. The age-old methods that have been tried and tested to lower prices will not get the industry far. In order to bend the cost curve, healthcare ecosystems must modernize supply chain in innovative ways.
Supply chain and logistics are second only to labor as the biggest expense for US healthcare providers. As per an analysis of more than 2,300 hospitals, annual supply expenses can be alleviated by approximately $23bn by making improvements in healthcare supply chain operations, product use, and processes.
The growing importance of value-based care has put enormous pressure on healthcare organizations in the US. The fee-for-service based system has been replaced with systems that tie reimbursement to cost performance and quality. Consequently, healthcare providers must fully evaluate the total cost of care and accurately measure costs incurred with clinical outcomes. In addition, they must foster strong trading partner relationships that support this new approach to patient care.
Truth is, for effective spend management in healthcare, organizations need to cut down the cost of inventory and improve supply chain aesthetics & operational effectiveness. In order to achieve this, healthcare industry needs to take steps to improve automation, efficiency, and standardization in the supply chain.
Healthcare providers as well as suppliers are employing automation and technology to bring down price discrepancies, reduce on-contact spend, manage synchronization of healthcare data better that promotes supply-chain efficiency, and finally move closer to just-in-time delivery to improve quality of care.
To meet these new demands, healthcare units must integrate their data, applications, and systems. 3 key factors must be taken into account to reap the benefits of an integrated healthcare supply chain: clean data, standardized data, and integrated data.
Bad data that forms the basis of strategic indecisions is the primary cause of numerous challenges such as lack of visibility, enhanced risk of errors, distrust fused in patients, etc. Hence, maintaining the quality of healthcare data is essential to improving system accuracy and ultimately minimizing overhead costs resulting from errors.
Data standardization plays an important role in enhancing communication across the healthcare sector. An integrated healthcare system enables various stakeholders, such as clinicians, Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS), finance, external business partners to speak in the same language. This ensures consistency for every stakeholder who uses the data, whether it’s clinicians documenting items, or manufacturing units producing products, or materials management processing orders. As a result of this consistency and connectivity, healthcare units can offer better quality services at controlled costs.
Clean and standardized data is important. However, such data fails to create value until it is integrated into systems and used within business processes like order-to-cash, point-of-care supply scanning, and clinical documentation. Healthcare integration has a major role to play here. It enables healthcare providers, distributors, manufacturers, and others to share data, automate business processes, and collaboratively conduct transactions. With an end-to-end encrypted approach, healthcare integration solutions secure important details such as patient records and other documents. Healthcare integration also streamlines communication within the organization to provide superior care delivery. Consequently, increased efficiency adds billions in cost savings for healthcare and creates outstanding clinical outcomes.
At the time of financial constraints, healthcare organizations must use healthcare integration software to improve medical care quality while cutting down expenditure.