By Vicki White, Vice President of Operations, OC Reilly, Inc.

(Aug. 12, 2019)—Have we entered the post-hospital era?

Have old, established means of measuring success become outdated? Has the recent history of whipsaw changes in funding, patient expectations, and health care economics altered the future irrevocably?

According to a blog posting on the website, the answer could very well be: Yes.

“We are entering into the ‘post-hospital era’ of health care, and health systems are struggling to respond to this new reality,” writes health care executive John Johnston. “Most health systems continue to primarily emphasize volume and other traditional hospital metrics in monthly performance scorecards…these are the success metrics of yesterday.

“Yet the metrics that increasingly point to success today – non-hospital business growth, efficiency of clinical care, avoidable care, denial rates, profitability by line of business or by payer – receive very little, if any attention at the executive or board level,” Johnston continues. “If there is any truth to the old adage, ‘we manage what we measure,’ these key performance indicators suggest many health system leaders are not guiding their organizations toward future success.”

As the move toward smaller, regionally based health care centers expands, these new, more telling measurements of performance must assume a weightier prominence to ensure the ongoing financial and patient satisfaction performance of health systems. Achieving optimal cost-efficiency in supply chain decisions, therefore, needs to play a key role in this overall effort.

With additional facilities in operation, the opportunity for inefficiencies to take hold and grow becomes more likely. A careful audit of current purchasing practices and contractual obligations, followed by a realistic and pragmatic recasting of those terms where possible, can lead the way to less waste, better performance, and lower costs.

In a post-hospital world, every dollar counts, while always maintaining the highest quality in providing patient care. Supply chain represents a measurable, manageable means of ensuring lasting success.

© 2019 OC Reilly, Inc.