By Erin Yeager, Senior Analyst Pharmacy / Supply Chain, OC Reilly, Inc.
(Sept. 20, 2021)–Health systems today continue to fight their way back from revenues lost when COVID-19 precautions and restrictions ultimately resulted in sharp declines regarding the numbers of elective procedures performed across the U.S. Although these traditionally higher-margin surgeries have slowly begun to increase again, they remain below the pre-pandemic levels and seem likely to continue to decline.
It can be tempting for hospitals to revert to protecting their traditional operating room practices and procedures. Statistics, however, lead us to conclude that this traditional market had been declining before the pandemic began. The onset of COVID-19 only served to accelerate that decline, according to industry experts.
An article in the March 2021 issue of HFM magazine states, “ Hospitals cannot shrink their way to growth. To maintain procedural revenue in the years ahead, hospital leaders require a new surgical services strategy. Current needs and longstanding trends suggest the best approach is to adopt an ‘ambulatory first’ strategy that pivots the organization’s focus to outpatient access, an exemplary patient experience, and enhanced operational efficiency.”
The same article says that hospital leaders must pay attention to their margins like never before. That means having even a best-case scenario of prime OR utilization of 60 percent translates into one third of that expensive capacity remaining unused. Margins therefore must be boosted through cost efficiencies, and aggressive supply chain management must be part of that mix.
Over the years, OC Reilly has successfully worked with multiple hospitals and health systems to evaluate and restructure the inventory controls and sterilization processes for OR operations, with high-impact cost savings and operational improvements resulting. This level of informed guidance and direct onsite involvement can provide an essential component in recovering some of the margin lost from the reduction in elective surgeries.
The team at OC Reilly can provide expert guidance on how to help your OR operate at peak efficiency. Contact us to learn more.
Source: “3 Ways Hospitals Need to Pivot Their OR Strategy in the Wake of COVID-19.” HFM Magazine, March 2021.
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