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July 2013

Supply chain automation supports cost reduction, quality improvement

Health reform and the transition away from fee-for-service payment models are putting a lot of pressure on hospitals to find savings or boost revenues. Rather than starting with cutting back physician compensation or trying to bring in more patients, hospitals may want to consider supply chain automation. Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle focused on automation in an effort to become more efficient. Milrose Mercado, Virginia Mason's administrative director of supply chain management, said the hospital's efforts to reduce manual order entries have decreased waste on transactions and provided the organization with a greater amount of data, which makes it easier to spot inefficiencies. The hospital will soon be implementing a "perpetual inventory" system, which Mercado said will allow administrators to see exactly what products are on hand at any given time, reducing overstocking and eliminating the problem of expired stock. There's not a problem of having the right product at the right time. There's a problem of having too ...

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