The cloud presents an enormous opportunity for procurement in healthcare to expedite transactions with efficiency and agility. A cloud-based platform eliminates many obstacles enabling a smoother process for transactions and shipments. Imagine the benefits, for example, of speeding the replenishment process, or eventually, a world in which replenishments refill automatically.
In a recent article for Health Data Management, Chris Luoma of GHX explores three of the common procurement challenges that the cloud can address today.
Supply Item Data
Selecting the correct product to be purchased can be quite challenging. Product catalogs often contain products that are discontinued and the volume of M&A in the industry contributes to frequent changes in product identifiers for both provider and suppliers. Cloud-based technology can alleviate the lag time for data changes with shared updates before products are ordered.
Product data is changing frequently, including price. Because of this, price discrepancies occur all along the process making the goal of price accuracy a continuous and labor-intensive job. An integrated environment enabled by the cloud facilitates communication and alignment on contract and pricing information in real-time. The cloud provides a common technology platform to automate the contract management process and synchronize pricing data.
There are multiple people involved in procurement, beginning with the person that decides that a product needs to be ordered, another for approval, and then more people involved to resolve issues in pricing or product availability, just to name a few. Among these broad touchpoints, visibility is critical to enable collaboration and to ensure the supplies are ready, available and accessible at the proper time. Also, consider that with multiple people involved and the more manual the process, greater is the likelihood to introduce errors. Cloud-based technology can provide visibility into transactions and the ability to change course or make corrections when needed while automation reduces the potential for errors.
The cloud is the future of healthcare and best-in-class procurement solutions will further improve supply chain processes.