July 17

3 Benchmarking Best Practices That are Essential for Your Hospital Supply Chain Success

Healthcare supply chain benchmarking often gets a bad rap because its practitioners use imprecise measurements, their data is incorrect, or searches are too far-reaching to be useful. Alternatively, benchmarking can be the door that opens the secrets of success for supply chain leaders if benchmarking is understood organically and applied artfully. To help you on this journey, here are three hospital supply benchmarking best practices that are essential for your supply chain success:

  1. Enables you to establish realistic objectives: There is no better methodology to establish objectives for negotiations, standardization, utilization savings, contract compliance, etc. than to benchmark what your peers are doing. For example, we discovered through supply benchmarking that progressive hospitals have stretched their IV set changes to 72-96 hours with no quality issues. Do you know how much money would be saved at your hospital if you now are changing your IV sets every 48-72 hours? Remember, faster change rate will equal higher utilization of IV supplies and more chance for quality or infection issues.
  2. Assists you in the development of exacting measurements for goal setting: If you want to set goals for upcoming value analysis studies then you want to know up front what your exact range of savings opportunities are. Otherwise, you will be leaving money on the table and not even know it is happening due to non existent solid benchmarking to reveal this ever-important savings opportunity range. Further, knowing how much savings from price, standardization, and utilization respectively, will be even more useful.
  3. Identifies best practices in all areas of your operations: If you are searching for process, service, and performance breakthroughs, you need to know what your peers, competitors, and other industries are doing to become better. Just like my firm recently switched to a new on-line screen share/conference call service when we discovered through benchmarking that one of our former clients was using a much lower cost vendor for this same purpose.

When we talk about benchmarking, it isn’t just theory. This is what we do every day to help our clients get better. So, if you also want to improve what you do in all areas of your supply chain operations, we can attest that benchmarking is the preferred tool to make this happen.

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