ECRI Blog

A Better Way to Manage Your Supply Chain Needs

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 25, 2021

During the past year, we were reminded of the critical role that supply chain plays in clinical care and overall operations. While our industry has adapted and grown to weather the COVID crisis, now is no time to return to business as usual. The roller coaster ride has slowed, but not stopped; supply chain still faces tremendous challenges such as product shortages, geo-political implications, increased costs, longer delivery times, worker shortages, lack of transparency, and other inventory challenges. Consider the following:

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Topics: Supply Chain

Three Reasons for Switching from a Manual to an Automated Value Analysis Process

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line—but when it comes to navigating your hospital’s value analysis process, has it ever been that simple? This is especially true when relying on a manual process to manage complex value analysis decisions, where the sheer volume of information, number of projects and need for collaboration can pull you in several directions at once.

Moving to an automated process can definitely save time; but streamlining information access and providing evidence-based data enables teams to make decisions more quickly. This can increase cost savings as well as the delivery of quality patient care. Here are three reasons to consider making the switch:

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Topics: Supply Chain

Outsmarting an Impossible Medical Equipment Budget

When Washington Adventist Hospital of Maryland hired ECRI Institute to provide equipment planning services for their new 170-bed hospital, they were in a financial bind. Their Certificate of Need (CON) budget for patient care equipment was only $33 million. But, after we completed detailed user group meetings, it was clear that the actual cost for medical equipment would be closer to $65 million.

Our client was not alone in getting caught in the CON budget squeeze. Currently, 35 U.S. states maintain some form of CON program—including all states east of the Mississippi, except Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. CON programs give the state government the power to determine whether there is a need for a new hospital or nursing home before it is approved for construction.

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Topics: Supply Chain

Three Costly Pitfalls of Purchased Services Contracts

Purchased services are seen as the next great savings frontier in healthcare—and with good reason. Spend on purchased services accounts for approximately 30 to 35 percent of a hospital’s non-labor expenditures. Tapping into even a small portion of that spend can lead to significant financial savings. However, purchased services contracts are complex and the legal language can be difficult to understand. What seems like a competitively low price may actually result in unexpected charges and poor performance outcomes.

Over the past few years, I’ve worked with many hospitals and health systems on purchased services contracts and have seen my share of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” What are some of the recurring themes? Some vendors bury language that is advantageous to their business. They omit key information and make performance management difficult for the hospital. While every purchased services contract is unique and every circumstance is different, it is possible to mitigate common traps and omissions that can lead to unexpected costs, poor performance, and no remedy when things go south.

Looking for service contract pitfalls to avoid? Check out my top three purchased services contract problem areas to gain the insight you need to improve the quality of services and drive savings across your organization.

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Topics: Supply Chain

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