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The problem of inaccurate clinical supply documentation

At a recent HIMSS conference last month, I co-presented at a Supply Chain Special Interest Group session regarding the problem of poor clinical supply documentation accuracy at the point of care and its implications for hospitals’ financial/risk management and quality of patient care. The goal of this meeting was to create awareness in the healthcare […]

April 20, 2012

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Vendor contract management practices: U.S. vs. Australia

On a recent business trip to Australia visiting public and private hospitals, I noticed some major differences from the U.S. in how contracts between hospitals and vendors are managed. Vendor contract management is a notoriously sore issue for U.S. hospitals where vendors negotiate inconsistent terms – for prices, par levels, and consignment agreements – not […]

March 29, 2012

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World Congress Supply Chain Leadership Summit

I recently attended the World Congress Supply Chain Leadership Summit in Orlando, FL. Excellent conference! I wanted to talk about three main themes or strategies that emerged during the many presentations and discussions. First, engage physicians. One point that was stressed is that physicians aren’t just passive recipients of data. They like to be active […]

February 6, 2012

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The blind spot in hospitals

Did you know that at most hospitals the cost of supplies represents one of the largest budget items after labor costs? This means that there is an immediate opportunity for hospitals to realize rapid, substantial, and lasting savings. What our experience has shown us is that most hospitals only track “perpetual” commodity supplies and document […]

January 9, 2012

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Documentation IS a core part of patient care

I’d like to talk about something that’s been bothering me for a while. One hears commonly in the hospital arena that nurses should spend more time on patient care, or that nurses should be relieved of activities that are not directly related to patient care. The problem with this attitude, however, is that when we […]

December 11, 2011

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Problem of product waste

I’ve been seeing products expiring on shelves at a rate of 5-10% (percentage of current inventory value on shelves) per month. This rate applies to a number of specialty procedure departments, such as Cath lab, EP lab, IR, as well as the OR. The underlying causes of expirations typically include an oversized inventory, a large […]

November 8, 2011

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Results of our physician survey

In conjunction with The Optimé Group, VUEMED commissioned a survey of 60 physicians in July 2011 in order to evaluate their perspectives on: (a) their relationships with supply chain/materials organizations; (b) their contribution to the product selection/purchasing decisions; and (c) the impact of healthcare reform on their practice. Survey participants included interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists, […]

October 10, 2011

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Product documentation challenges

One issue I’d like to talk about that’s not commonly discussed is that usage documentation by nurses and techs is notoriously inaccurate. There are a number of reasons why. First, clinical information systems are difficult to use for product documentation (descriptions missing, truncated or inaccurate, items missing, items difficult to find, etc.). Second, preference cards […]

September 17, 2011

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Managing perpetual vs. non-perpetual inventory

I had a discussion recently with someone who was asking about perpetual vs. non-perpetual clinical inventory. When it comes to most items in a department’s perpetual inventory, the department doesn’t need to track the lot number and expiration date for every single item; most of the perpetual products are not likely to expire since they’re […]

August 15, 2011

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Commissioning a physician survey

This summer we’ve commissioned a primary market research project together with The Optimé Group to examine changing physicians’ attitudes and perceptions around medical technology evaluation and purchasing decisions, as well as their relationships with both the suppliers and their hospital supply chain and administration. We’ll be presenting the findings at the IDN summit this fall. […]

July 21, 2011

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