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How to Create a Patient-Centric Supply Chain: A Simple Guide for Hospitals

Here are six practical steps you can start implementing in your organization.
By Shlomo Matityaho
Dec 16, 2018

Expanding patient-centric care in all areas of health care is not just an empty slogan. It's a commitment we make as health-care professionals to better the lives of the people we treat.

Whether patients select a hospital of their choice or are directed to one through their HMO, they rightfully expect "the system" to provide superb treatment. Patients cannot be expected to distinguish between the services provided by the clinical team and the staff supporting them. If an error occurs, such as implanting expired stock, it does not matter to the patient whether the responsibility is with the supplier who did not update the stock on time, or the nurse who did not notice this, or the surgeon who did not bother to double-check. The hospital, as a whole, is guilty and will be held accountable.

According to an article written by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists:

"Most patients judge the quality of their healthcare much like they rate an airplane flight… Criteria for judging a particular airline are personal and include aspects like comfort, [efficient] service and on-time schedules. Similarly, patients judge the standard of their healthcare on nontechnical aspects… Most are unable to evaluate a practitioner's level of technical skill or [quality of therapy], so the [conditions] they can assess [patient satisfaction and preserving health over time] become of the utmost importance…"

This article lays out six steps that can immediately be adopted in your own organization to create a more patient-centric supply chain.

Step 1: Create full synchronization between clinical and operational data
Delivery of modern health care is set up so that patients travel though several separate institutions on their journey to wellness. At each step, new files will be opened within a multitude of systems: the patient-management system, the clinical data system, the queue management system and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. In best-case scenarios, all these diverse systems will be connected through a common interface. More often, the desired level of interconnectivity is just not there.

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