Because most of their work is done “behind the scenes,” healthcare supply chain professionals rarely get the recognition they deserve. That’s why symplr® is pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate them during National Health Care Supply Chain Week, October 6 – 12. As a leading healthcare vendor credentialing provider, we have the privilege of working with supply chain professionals every day. Over the years, we’ve seen their roles transform. What began as straight-forward product purchasing has evolved into a multi-faceted management position with responsibilities that affect the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors.
We appreciate the many qualities healthcare supply chain professionals bring to the organizations they serve:
They have excellent communication skills
Supply chain offices do a lot more than order supplies. They manage many relationships that bridge the gap between purchasing, contracting, physicians, vendors…everyone! Often they are the only department that communicates with every other area in an organization, both clinical and non-clinical. Their days can start with tackling a janitorial supply problem and end with a meeting to discuss the special equipment needs of a top surgeon.
They ensure health dollars are spent wisely
The shift in reimbursement models from volume to value has impacted every segment of medicine. More than ever before, supply chain professionals play a critical role in a facility’s overall financial health. They work diligently to deliver the highest quality of care with minimal waste and best value-for-money. The position of continually monitoring supplies, working with budgets and investigating cost-savings means supply chain professionals play a considerable part in the overall financial success of their organization.
They are incredibly organized
In addition to working with several different software systems and platforms, they also interact with members of staff and vendors about a mind-boggling array of issues. Many of those issues require documentation and A LOT of spreadsheets to keep track of progress.
Patient care and safety is a top priority
Their day-in-day-out duties affect patient care in many ways. Vendor management encompasses more than deciding what type of bandage a hospital should purchase. Many supply chain professionals manage vendor entry to facilities, which can include after-hours access to deliver life-saving equipment or supplies. They also ensure all products brought into the hospital, as well as the vendors that represent them, are compliant with hospital policies and procedures. That can be a lot of paperwork!
They safeguard their organizations
There are legal, financial and compliance ramifications to supply chain decisions. The modern supply chain professional is mindful of federal and state laws, as well as healthcare industry and individual facility requirements for supplies and vendors. Additionally, they ensure the continued health and safety of patients by developing supply contingency plans in the event of shortages or disasters.
With responsibilities that touch so many areas, it is hard to imagine how healthcare organizations would function without the oversight of dedicated supply chain professionals! We sincerely thank them for the role they play to ensure the overall health and safety of patients and the communities they serve.
Healthcare supply chain pros, enjoy your week in the spotlight. You deserve it!