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How Supply Chain Technology Can Improve the Continuum of Care (And Three Ways Premier is Delivering)

Key takeaways:

  • Confronted by escalating financial pressures, healthcare organizations are looking for new ways to lower costs without compromising patients’ health and safety.
  • Supply chain technologies can help providers across the continuum of care (CoC) achieve greater efficiencies, cost savings and the best possible outcomes, yet the tech is out of reach for many organizations.
  • Premier SmartPO™, a digital purchasing and inventory management platform scaled for CoC providers, provides complete visibility into procurement to help drive healthcare supply chain resiliency, savings opportunities and quality patient care across the care continuum.

As economic concerns associated with inflation, supply chain issues and labor shortages in healthcare persist, providers across the continuum of care (CoC) need strategies for reducing costs without compromising care quality. One strategy CoC providers should consider is technology-enabling critical supply chain purchasing and inventory management processes to achieve greater efficiencies and savings.

While leaders at many healthcare organizations within the CoC (e.g., physician practices, surgery centers and long-term care facilities) may think they don’t have the resources needed to deploy supply chain technologies typically used by hospitals and health systems (e.g., enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and procurement platforms), there’s a cost-effective solution scaled just for smaller providers designed to deliver benefits straight to the bottom line.

Savings Generator. Risk Mitigator. Labor Extender. Introducing Premier SmartPO.

Tailored specifically to the needs of CoC providers, Premier SmartPO™ offers an automated buying experience with complete visibility into the procurement process to help drive quality patient care, supply chain resiliency and cost savings.

Utilizing Premier SmartPO™, providers can quickly order their preferred supplies from vendors of their choosing, create requisitions, manage formularies, easily track and maintain inventory levels to curb waste, receive products, route invoices, enter check requests for reimbursement and more – all in one fully automated, user-friendly interface via mobile or desktop devices.

Here are three ways Premier SmartPO™ can help CoC providers move ahead amid today’s business challenges:

Ensure correct pricing and identify savings opportunities to aid margin improvement efforts.

  • By providing real-time analytics, CoC providers can instantly view key information such as items on contract, pricing and cost comparisons to identify savings opportunities and inform their purchasing decisions.
  • The technology promotes cost-efficient ordering and improved speed to savings for Premier group purchasing organization (GPO) members through centralized purchasing control and a defined formulary of on-contract products.
  • The system audits each line of electronically received supplier invoices to verify that prices reflect Premier’s GPO contracts, direct contracts or special pricing agreements so providers know they’re paying the correct price every time they place an order.

Mitigate supply risk to keep the healthcare supply chain running smoothly.

  • Premier SmartPO™ provides complete visibility into the end-to-end procurement process, including sourcing, pricing, approvals, items received and pricing reconciliation to promote supply chain resiliency.
  • Enhanced inventory management promotes accurate stock levels (which is needed to deliver cohesive, high-quality care) as providers can easily track what’s on hand and when they need to reorder.
  • On-the-go connectivity to all of a provider’s suppliers, large or small, and full integration with barcodes and scanners saves time, improves accuracy and helps to ensure essential supplies are in the hands of clinicians when they need them most – at the point of patient care.

Enable more efficient use of staff resources.

  • By digitizing workflows and improving efficiencies between providers and suppliers, the technology serves as a labor extender for CoC providers challenged with short-staffed, overworked teams.
  • Premier SmartPO™ eliminates manual, paper-based purchasing processes, which can lead to employee burnout, a critical risk among providers in the current environment of labor shortages.
  • Automated processes and full data accessibility provide insulation from staff turnover as business process continuity is maintained and new employees joining the organization can spend less time on training and begin working more quickly.

Stockd® and Remitra®: Two more ways Premier is tech-enabling the CoC to optimize the healthcare delivery system.

Save money on healthcare essentials needed to enable quality patient care.

Through Premier’s stockd® digital sales channel, CoC providers can take advantage of limited-time discounts through special Group Buys at significant savings, as well as purchase Premier’s direct-source products digitally. Stockd® also addresses the challenges faced by CoC providers by offering payment terms and purchase orders to align better with organizations’ cash flow.

Purchasing is simplified through the easy-to-navigate stockd® digital platform, which is exclusively accessible to Premier GPO members. Product listings include transparent pricing and clinical information to ensure informed purchases.

Unlock hidden dollars to relieve financial pressures and move business forward.

Premier’s Remitra® accounts payable (AP) automation solutions can help alleviate the financial strain CoC providers are feeling due to today’s macroeconomic stressors. Particularly, Remitra® Cash Flow Optimizer (CFO) technology helps optimize working capital that may be locked away in providers’ manual, paper-based accounting processes.

The technology can make payments to suppliers on behalf of providers within contract terms, extend their payables timelines 30 days or more and reduce the number of payments across multiple suppliers. This gives CoC providers additional bandwidth to maximize their working capital rather than paying by the contract date (think: cash on hand to keep business operations running rather than tapping a high-interest line of credit).

Building a Better, Stronger CoC Today

Premier’s Continuum of Care services portfolio – including Premier SmartPO™, stockd® and Remitra® – highlights our investment in technology to streamline and automate manual processes that have contributed to costly inefficiencies and waste throughout our healthcare delivery system.

Through new technology offerings, our access to GPO solutions, advocacy efforts and more, we remain committed to optimizing healthcare delivery for all – ultimately benefiting patients across the care continuum.

Premier members attending Breakthroughs 23: We’re offering several Premier SmartPO™ learning opportunities during the conference. We hope to see you!

  • Tuesday afternoon, June 20 in the CoC Business Development Lounge
  • Thursday, June 22 at 9 a.m. during the CoC Breakout Sessions
  • Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Premier Village

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