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Supply Chain Resilience: 3 Ways to Save Despite Rising Costs and Frozen Spend
Supply Chain

Supply Chain Resilience: 3 Ways to Save Despite Rising Costs and Frozen Spend

Changes in the supply chain, or supply chain disruptions, can happen at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic set off a domino-effect series of shortages and delays that impacted financial, reputation, and clinical outcomes.

ECRI included supply chain disruptions in its annual list of Top Patient Safety Concerns in 2021, and again in 2022. And while 2023 may bring some improvements, challenges remain.

Healthcare leaders will continue to grapple with supply chain challenges that effect patient safety, healthcare quality, financial standing, and emergency preparedness. In fact, supply chain problems may be compounded by additional medical issues such as RSV and a rampant flu, as well as geopolitical and economic factors, such as war, inflation, spend limits, and staff shortages.

Together these factors slow the supply chain, delaying needed goods, services, and transportation. 

Additionally, spend budgets have remained stagnant, and vendors are not likely to offer discounts like they once did. Without price reductions, providers must find new ways to save.

But the good news is that you can now better prepare for and get ahead of supply chain disruptions.

In ECRI’s newest whitepaper, "Healthcare Supply Chain Resilience: 3 Ways Providers Can Save Amid Rising Costs and Frozen Spend Allocations," Timothy Browne, Vice President, Supply Chain Solutions, outlines how to be proactive, strategic, and agile to meet your supply clinical needs while controlling spend.

Whether you are a procurement manager, supply chain director, administrator, budget analysist, or clinical staff member, you’ll find useful information that helps you engage in the procurement /supply chain process in a more deliberate and strategic way.

The white paper provides more detail about three key strategies:

  1. Identify Product Substitutes
    The pandemic forced many organizations to seek out substitute products simply because they could not procure their preferred or current products. The substitute products needed to be clinically effective, obtainable within budget, and available when needed. Your organization is no longer searching for functionally equivalent PPE, such as masks or gowns, but there still may be savings to be had. Confer with your clinical and procurement staff for ideas about where savings might be identified.

  2. Access Utilization
    Does your right hand know what your left hand is doing? Does one group use the same needles as a second group within your one-location hospital? Within your larger network organization, does your emergency department at location “A” use the same sanitizer as your emergency department at location “B,” that happens to be in another state? Standardizing purchases can save money and increase patient and staff safety.

  3. Implement an Evidence-based Assessment Process
    If you do not already have one, create a rigorous value analysis process. Such a process can prevent and reduce waste and bring in only products that have been carefully vetted.

Want to learn more, including how ECRI identified potential savings of $700,000-plus for one organization? Download ECRI’s free white paper and reach out to an ECRI expert for further assistance.