According to Carndinal Health’s latest survey, hospitals (operating rooms specifically) need better supply chain transparency and analytics to ensure patient safety.
Shocking results from a survey, of surgical staff and hospital supply chain management operators, revealed the true inadequacy of SCM systems in place. Whether this is an issue of financial troubles, or just a mere lack of technological solutions, a change must be made to ensure the safety of current and future patients.
Due to the lack of supply and supply chain visibility, surgical experts have been forced to make due with what’s available within their timelines for surgery. In some cases, this has led to using expired materials in the OR (operating room). Sometimes these decisions are made completely unbeknownst to staff.
“Nearly half (40%) of respondents revealed they've actually canceled a case, and more than two-thirds (69%) have delayed a case because of missing supplies.
Furthermore, 27% have seen or heard of an expired product being used on a patient, and 23% have seen or heard of a patient harmed due to a lack of supplies” (Supply Chain Digital 2018).
This inefficiency can be traced back to a number of sources, but the common denominator of the issues shone through: human error.
Inventory and supply management is a tedious and difficult task. Leaving such tasks open to human error – especially in such a stress filled work environment – makes one prone to making mistakes. Adopting automated inventory management and supply management systems are typically beneficial for operations, especially where existing supply is central to daily activities.
“The majority (83%) of respondents' organisations are manually counting in some part of their supply chain, while only 15% have automated RFID systems” (Supply Chain Digital 2018).
This kind of gap in the automation of inventory systems is a strong majority, and it’s not just the medical field that is seeing these challenges impacting daily operations. Visibility of inventory is an issue impacting various verticals, and the only way to combat these problems is adopting digital solutions. However, this is one business sector where inventory management has a direct impact on the health of innocent bystanders.
Luckily, this survey found that there has been a bit of headway in the acceptance of coming automation within the medical field. “One in four say automated systems free up time to focus on patients and support better outcomes, and 39% agree automation reduces costs” (Supply Chain Dive 2018).
This number will continue to grow as companies begin to understand that supply chain management automation isn’t just novelty, it’s the future.