Supply Chain Management in Hospital
In the world of competition, health care sectors are struggling to maintain their existence. Though in recent years health care sector is the most developing and active growing industry, it is facing the issues of survival. To run a profitable hospital, it requires well educated & experienced staff, disciplinary management and organized supply chain management. We are here focusing more on the supply chain management as it is directly concerned with the growth and survival of the hospital.
Supply chain management includes a process of planning, implementing, organizing, maintaining and controlling the supply of raw materials from the manufacturers or the distributors to the consumer or the providers and also work on the cost effectiveness of the products supplied which is directly related to the growth of the hospital. They record, store and maintain the supply of raw materials like drugs, devices, instruments and other surgical supplies such as gloves, syringes etc and see that the products are made available at required times. They also aim to order the materials with quality and at cost effective prices to the patients and hospitals.
The health care delivery system works from the packing, processing, billing and transportation of the raw materials or the devices from the manufacturer to the health care providers. It not only maintains the orders of raw materials but also checks the matching of contract prices and order prices which helps in maintaining the relation and future contracts with the supplier.
- It always aims to treat the suffering diseased people the complete cure with effective cost and with high satisfactory levels.
- It tries and maintains the stock of all the materials and devices which are necessary for concerned departments at the hospitals and pharmacies.
- It also looks after the proper usage of the materials or devices by the department which prevents the direct waste and helps in adding to the profit of the hospital.
- With the help of new technology RFID it helps in restricting the moving of materials or devices in to other departments thereby giving the single ownership and responsibility of the material to the concerned department only. It also helps in the reduction of shipping errors outside the hospital.
- It helps in reducing the “Out of Stock” risk by constantly checking the demand and usage of materials with the help of the database, which gives the details of the stock statement.
The Hospital facility management are also called as ‘Keepers’. They work constantly to meet the demands of the hospital and the customers by providing them a quality raw materials at a cost effective prices. The Hospital supply chain involves huge participation of products from different stakeholders.
The most effective cost cutter way is by systematic measurement of drugs and its utilization. The Health care service provider makes a record of most commonly prescribing drugs in all departments example analgesics and antibiotics which are most commonly used by Surgeon’s, Physician’s, Paediatrician’s, Gynaecologist which are more in demand so they make a huge stock of such drugs in a single transport which thereby reduces the transportation charges and Stock out risks. They also get discounts from the suppliers for huge orders thereby helping the profit of the Hospital. Other costly and lifesaving drugs like Cardiac stents, Ophthalmic lens etc are ordered in less quantity and made available only when needed.
Some other problems facing by the Hospital management are
- Expiry issue – They also deal with the expiry of drugs or other materials by returning the drugs to the suppliers before time which cannot be used by the patient which cause health problems. They deal earlier regarding the same with the distributors or the manufacturers.
- Quality management – The quality of the drugs, injections, or the devices to be maintained every time to give a quality service for the patient, hence they constantly has to check with the raw materials regarding the quality issue.
- Timely delivery is the other important aspect, where sometimes the distributor delays the process resulting in delay in treatment of the patient.
Recently Supply chain management system has set a bar code system just to ensure the right drug and right dosage to the patient. This also helps in maintaining the stock statement and error free quality service to the hospital and to the patient.