By Raymond L. Staudt, Executive Director, Business Development, OC Reilly Inc.


(April 2, 2018)—Occasionally, the best solution can be found right in front of you, but we have been so conditioned to reaching out, to stretching and pushing for that elusive answer, that we fail to see what’s staring us in the face.

In the world of health care supply chain, administrators can get lost by focusing too much on clinical equipment and processes. While that can never be neglected, supply chain and purchased services can contribute to improved financials in many areas beyond the clinical.

In the article, “Implementing Tailored Supply Chain Strategies to Jump Start Supply Chain Cost Savings,” found in the July 2017 edition of H&HN magazine, it reads in part, “Rather than focusing initial supply chain strategies on clinical areas, health systems may want to consider exploring cost savings and/or renewing efforts in the area of facilities and support spending. This includes facilities management, laundry, food services, housekeeping, non-acute purchased services, courier, grounds, and document and print management.

“Each of these categories is an opportunity for an organization that, if centralized and standardized, can often drive substantial savings while avoiding some of the common challenges related to clinical product procurement,” the article continued.

“Successes in these areas can also highlight supply chain achievements and serve as a foundation toward developing relationships between supply chain and other health system departments that will be essential when tackling more integrated clinical purchasing decisions.”

So, from the mere practicality of carefully managing supply chain and purchased services across all aspects of the health care system, to the longer-term benefits that this kind of comprehensive approach can generate, it would be a mistake to overlook the obvious.

Resist getting too focused on one area, like clinical. Opportunities to score impressive and important supply chain gains are staring you in the face, and from every direction. Just because something looks obvious doesn’t mean it can’t create significant value.

© 2018 OC Reilly Inc.