Any healthcare facility faces a variety of challenges and pressures on a daily basis. Keeping patients safe, maintaining high standards of care, reducing costs, and meeting industry regulations are all key to thriving as an organization. One way to help your healthcare facility thrive is by adopting strategies for improving your supply of medical equipment. How you manage your inventory of medical equipment directly impacts the patient experience and financial performance of your healthcare facility. A strong supply chain strategy can help you reduce the risks associated with sourcing and procuring new equipment, improve reliability and uptime on existing equipment, and proactively anticipate needs for future capital projects. In this blog post we will go over 10 tips to improve your supply of medical equipment for your healthcare facility. Here are ten things that you can do today to get started:
Plan ahead, and know what you need to order
When you have a clear understanding of your inventory needs, you can build a more reliable and efficient supply chain and buy medical equipment in Melbourne. This reduces the risk of over-ordering and stockpiling, and helps you avoid shortages. If you have an inventory management system in place, be sure to use it to keep track of your equipment and supplies. You can also use a less formal approach by keeping a simple spreadsheet that tracks your inventory, including who the supplier is, the supplier part number, the quantity on hand, the quantity on order, and the date the order is expected to arrive. This can help you avoid surprises and keep your staff informed about the availability of critical items. If you’re ordering equipment that is custom-made or has a long lead time, be sure to keep the staff informed of the expected delivery date.
Separate your critical and non-critical equipment
Your medical facility should have a supply chain strategy that keeps your critical medical equipment stocked and available while allowing non-critical items to take slightly longer lead times. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s important to remember that you’re not just serving the healthcare staff. You’re also serving patients and their families. And in some cases, these people may have to wait for hours for a bed or a wheelchair. Such situations can lead to poor outcomes and unhappy patients and their families. So how do you determine which equipment is critical and which is non-critical? This can be subjective and vary from facility to facility. However, one way to think about it is to ask yourself which items would create a safety or quality of care issue for patients if they weren’t available.
Don’t rely on a single supplier
Having a single supplier for each piece of your equipment is risky. After all, if that supplier has an issue, you have to wait for a resolution. You also might have issues if the supplier closes down, is acquired, or otherwise changes their business model. Having more than one supplier for each item, especially for your critical items, helps with resiliency and risk management. You can even take this a step further and consider having a secondary supplier for each supplier you use. You can add a small quantity at each location to hedge against a supplier’s failure. This strategy gives you more options and flexibility if your primary supplier fails to deliver.
Test the resilience of your suppliers
While evaluating your suppliers’ resilience, conduct periodic tests of their ability to deliver. You can do this by simulating an emergency and seeing how they respond. You should also assess their ability to respond to a natural disaster by assessing their facilities and evacuation routes. Ask yourself, “If there was a flood or earthquake, how would they respond?” And, “If they were in another state, how quickly could they get to our facility?” You can also ask your local emergency management officials about the readiness of your suppliers. They may be able to test their ability to respond by simulating a situation that could impact your suppliers or their supply chain. You can also report your findings to government agencies to help address any potential issues.
Make a supply chain-focused employee training program
Institute a training program focused on the supply chain. This can help you reduce errors and enhance efficiency in managing your inventory and communicating with your suppliers. It can also help you to identify and resolve issues as they arise. A training program also helps staff understand the critical importance of their role in the facility and the need to be careful and accurate. It also helps them to understand their supplier’s role and importance in keeping the facility stocked and operating smoothly.
If you follow these ten tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your supply chain and making your healthcare facility run more efficiently. You’ll also be better positioned to meet your patients’ needs and expectations. A strong supply chain strategy is crucial to ensuring that medical equipment is available when it’s needed. It also helps you to avoid shortages and keeps equipment running smoothly and efficiently. With these tips in mind, you can work towards improving your supply chain and making your healthcare facility run more smoothly.