Healthcare logistics & IT
Healthcare logistics & IT - en route to Operational Excellence
Within healthcare, the focus is primarily on the patient, the treatment and the specialist and often less on healthcare logistics and IT facilities that are very supportive in this. From a historical perspective, it is logical that investments were made in the primary care process of each specialty. The supporting, secondary processes, including IT, logistics and purchasing, are following. Investing in a strategic vision and approach for these components is often not a decisive part of the agenda of the Board of Directors. These secondary costs have a strongly hidden nature to this day and the added value of the supporting activities is difficult to quantify. As a result, the concept of operational excellence is underexposed, and integrated continuous improvement based on Deming's PDCA-cycle is difficult to get started.
Healthcare logistics and inventory management
Logistics and Inventory Management has undergone some degree of automation within all healthcare organizations. In healthcare, we have moved from registration systems to a process-supporting instrument in recent decades. In daily practice, however, it appears that "island" automation (stand alone) is often the case. The functionality within a system is often the limiting factor and integration between core systems is still in its infancy for many healthcare institutions. The need for standardization is growing and the need to minimize administrative input work is becoming stronger. Organizations want to return with primary a focus on healthcare.
ICT implementations, but also working with the latest technologies within an ERP and an EPF environment, not only require professional knowledge, but also require experienced management skills: after all, all changes have a significant impact on business operations, working methods and procedures. In addition, a change often encounters resistance because “things have to change”. People often still think they see threats instead of opportunities.
Healthcare logistics and IT is a good contemporary example in which automation and computerization play a very decisive role in the realization of a successful, efficient, effective service provided by support services, which must guarantee the continuity and progress of the primary process. There is a great need for system predictability. Conditions for this are not only the correct choice of an IT Program, it requires a review of procedural agreements and organizational preconditions for inventory management, order communication, payment transactions, supplier contracts, standardization, etc. Issues that often receive insufficient attention because they focus more on the technical installation and organization of systems.
Logistics and inventory management services are more than just ordering and delivery activities. Integration of core IT systems (ERP-EPC) and far-reaching standardization become part of the tactical business operations. Service Intimacy (patient journey) and Operational Excellence will connect seamlessly.
The entire supply chain can be supported by: robot transport, track-trace systems (RFID), but also, for example, automated waste disposal systems that not only function very efficiently, but can make a significant contribution to hygiene measures, patient safety and saving of non-value-adding work for professionals.
We know from experience that these ICT, Logistics and Inventory Management systems function very well and reliably and are also very profitable, usually with a return on investment of approximately 2.5-5 years. Unfortunately, this does not always apply to every hospital; we are happy to advise you on your situation whether this choice can be useful and to make a business case.