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Abandon time-consuming manual inventory processes and adopt a modern software platform

 Your organization is growing. Today, you’re managing both acute and non-acute care facilities. As facilities are added, you must manage a complex supply chain that occurs outside the four walls of the hospital.

Sound familiar?

“I work daily with healthcare organizations, and hear this story often,” says Jeff Lawrence, vice president of Business Development for Inventory Optimization Solutions (IOS), a Provista company. “As patient volume shifts from the four walls of the acute care setting to non-acute facilities, you need to gain access and visibility to this spend. Non-acute facilities often lack standard operating procedures and product and vendor standardization. As a result, the clinical staff struggles to manage inventory and complex ordering via multiple vendor websites.”

Today, forward-thinking health systems are gaining visibility and control over their non-acute facility spend by implementing an inventory management software, like Envi® from IOS, in their non-acute facilities.

As purchases scale into the thousands of items, manual and inefficient processes cannot keep pace. Instead, organizations need a reliable, innovative inventory management and procurement software platform to automate processes, offer visibility across the supply chain and ensure accurate pricing. When technology is coupled with the products and services offered by a group purchasing organization (GPO) like Provista, facilities realize even greater savings, efficiencies and conveniences.

“If you look at organizations that do not have a procurement platform in place, when we implement Envi, we’re seeing savings of 25% on total product purchasing,” Lawrence says. “There’s a significant savings potential, especially when using both Envi and a GPO. With our platform and with Provista managing the system, process and database, along with its product portfolio, you have a user-friendly, turnkey system that saves you money through efficiency, visibility and contract alignment.”

A More Intelligent Procurement Process
Envi simplifies all aspects of procurement to enable smarter, more efficient ordering and inventory oversight. The cloud-based solution enables healthcare organizations to typically realize:

  • 50% decrease in order processing time via automation.
  • 5% to 15% savings tied to contract tracking and formulary compliance.
  • 20% reduction in on-hand inventory.

Facilities can create product formularies in platforms like Envi, ensuring orders are placed from a pre-approved product list. When a GPO’s portfolio is included in the platform, facilities have the additional benefit of also ensuring they’re getting the best price on each product in the formulary.

“You have the simplicity of calling up an approved list of defined products that anyone within your enterprise can buy, and you also see the lowest price,” Lawrence points out.

As organizations continue to grow through acquisitions, Envi facilitates the alignment of new offices to the desired product formulary, giving all offices access to the same prices. Price parity across locations is often problematic as locations span geographies and new offices just keep their same buying behaviors.

With a highly flexible interface engine, Envi can output crucial data to your existing systems, enhancing the value of your existing information technology investment and enabling even greater efficiency and control in your processes.

Purchase order approval rules help control location purchasing behavior. Managers can set approval limits by supplier or dollar amount. This allows an organization to require, for example, that any purchase over $5,000 to be approved so managers can verify high-dollar-amount orders.

Save Time, Money and Resources
With automation, point-and-click formulary compliance and the ability to identify fulfillment issues, Envi reduces the time, money and resources dedicated to procurement. “We deliver efficiencies that drive hard and soft costs out of the supply chain,” Lawrence points out. “When you can see all of your products across all facilities, you can decrease inventory levels and reduce the number of expiring products.”

Business processes have to function even when you’re away from your desk or office. Envi is optimized for use on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices through the Envi native apps. Barcode scanning enables critical functions in the Envi mobile app to increase the speed and accuracy throughout the entire system.

Organizations that use Envi and buy through a GPO like Provista across all locations benefit from better tier pricing and rebates—Provista’s quarterly rebates average 3% to 6% of purchases.

Right Time, Right Supplier, Right Price
Many organizations lack visibility across their supply chain and across each office location. Envi provides that line of sight into buying patterns and which suppliers are used. This can uncover opportunities to adjust inventory levels to match usage, which reduces costly overstocking issues. Plus, Envi has all of the capabilities of a dedicated materials management information system. It can interface directly with existing applications and deliver analytic reports.

The Envi reporting engine provides a robust suite of preconfigured reports. These reports help executives make more informed purchasing decisions based on past behavior, product standardization and other factors. “As your purchasing behavior evolves, we can run reports and provide analysis to make sure you stay aligned with and activate the best contracts,” Lawrence says. “Once you have all of your procurement and inventory in a single system, you’re able to run analytics and get insights you’ve never had before.”

IOS provides services for cleansing and maintaining your data. By focusing on creating and maintaining an item master with relevant and contract aligned products, you ensure ongoing savings. A current item master and accurate data are key to payment accuracy, improved automation, contract alignment and detailed analytics.

As healthcare facilities walk a tightrope between having enough supplies on hand to serve clinical and business needs while finding new ways to save and streamline processes, a procurement platform like Envi is more critical than ever. “Ultimately, we offer a user-friendly system that saves you money,” Lawrence says.


 

Originally published in The Journal of Healthcare Contracting here.