As the hospital industry works on recovering from COVID-19, managing costs has taken on even greater urgency. The financial impact of grossly inflated prices for equipment, PPE, and supplies (often double or more pre-pandemic prices) combined with reduced patient volume and lost revenue, were a “double-whammy” that made 2020 and early 2021 challenging. As things start getting back to “normal”, hospitals need ways to get costs under control and find savings to boost their bottom line.
One consequence of the pandemic for hospital supply chains is that many hospitals had to break from established processes or procedures to ensure they actually got the equipment and supplies they needed.
When the global demand for certain equipment (think ventilators, monitors, pumps) and PPE (N95 masks, disinfecting wipes, nitrile gloves, etc.) increased 1,000% more than pre-pandemic levels, hospitals had to abandon traditional contracting strategies that they knew could save them money. With the market for many of these products improving and prices becoming more competitive, hospitals have an opportunity to (re) introduce the strategies and best practices that can help uncover the most savings in every purchase of equipment and supplies. Don’t view cost-saving savings as a one-time “event”, but rather as a good “habit” that can help every hospital get control of supply chain costs.
One easy way to accelerate your savings is to commit to consistent use of the proven best practices for realizing savings in all your purchases – large and small. Being consistent is a good way to ensure your hospital consistently gets the best outcome (lowest cost) every time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Consistency provides many benefits, with one of the biggest being it can help make certain tasks or activities second nature, which can reduce stress and increase the ease of completion. Consistent use of proven cost-saving strategies makes them easier to implement on all of your purchases – including smaller dollar amounts or emergency purchases that often don’t get the same level of scrutiny. Whether making sure end-users consider at least one competitive product or benchmarking your quoted price and terms to be certain you are being quoted a good price, consistently following a standardized process will help you save time and maximize the savings you realize for your hospital.
Don’t Cut Corners – Apply Proven Strategies for Savings
Departments always seem to want their equipment purchases pushed through as soon as they get budget approval. Just because a purchase needs to be made quickly, it shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore proven savings strategies and risk paying too much. Resist the pressure to get orders placed immediately and overcome potential “bad habits” that may have crept in during COVID. Even when the timing is urgent, if you take a few extra minutes to review and verify the quote details, including price, you might be surprised with how quick and easy it can be to squeeze out extra savings. Be consistent, and your hospital can benefit from good habits that will save you even more in the long run.
Every Step, Every Time
While it may seem like a hassle to add steps in the process that may have gotten lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the long run, consistent use of your hospital’s cost-saving strategies will reflect this commitment to and financial benefits.
Even if your hospital is spending less right now due to the financial hit from COVID-19, it is still a good time to adopt good habits and follow proven savings best practices on each and every purchase.
For more innovative ideas to maximize your savings and get everyone in your organization thinking about the bottom line, feel free to contact us.