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A Day in the Life: Healthcare Inventory Receiving Process

In the healthcare industry, especially in hospitals, accurate and timely supply chain management is critical. Materials Managers at hospitals must be extremely familiar with the supply room status, feeling confident in the count and location of vital supplies. Apps Associates has worked with healthcare provider organizations for more than ten years, and we understand the critical role of supply chain management in hospitals.

Through our experience, we’ve learned from our customers and partners what is necessary to achieve excellence in deploying the Oracle ERP and Supply Chain Managment systems in hospitals. Specifically, we’ve identified the proper discovery tactics to make an impact, especially in the department of ordering and receipt of goods necessary for the provider to function efficiently. 

The biggest takeaway in this discovery process is that to understand supply chain management in hospitals, it is imperative that both the provider (the hospital staff) and the implementor (the Apps Associates team) experience first-hand how the daily operation is conducted. This realization led to the creation of what we call “Day in the Life” workshops. 

What is a Day in the Life Workshop?

In the first phase of an Oracle Cloud deployment project for supply chain management in hospitals, the Apps Associates team goes on site to watch the current process unfold.

We go to the loading dock and watch what happens when the goods arrive. We are there to observe, take notes, and ask questions. Common questions we note for supply chain management in hospitals: 

  • What is the inspection process? 
  • What happens to damaged goods?
  • How many inventory locations are there? 
  • Does one pallet get sent to multiple inventory locations or secondary warehouses?

We experience the physical receipt of the goods at the loading dock, but we’re also noting the picking process from previously received and put-a-away supplies – how did these goods get ordered from the warehouse or central supply in the first place? We trace that ordering process through to its delivery and transfer to a periodic auto replenishment (PAR) locations or inventory closets.

As we shadow the staff, we note how they order and replenish the point of care supply rooms or materials dispensing machines, paying close attention to the cycle counts and physical inventory processes. The goal is to understand the customer’s current process and identify areas where the Oracle Cloud product suite could be configured to improve those processes, making the staff’s jobs easier, more efficient, and safer for patient care.

The Power of Oracle SaaS in Healthcare

Over the last decade working with our healthcare clients on supply chain management in hospitals, we have created solutions that noticeably improve inventory processes in almost every organization. Using Oracle’s SaaS products, we have the flexibility to do 2-, 3-, and 4-way matching between purchasing and receipt. This improves the product quality while reducing shrinkage, ultimately increasing the bottom line and improving patient care. 

Recent Use Cases

  • Regional Hospital (Midwestern US) – the customer was operating two adjacent warehouses.  We were able to consolidate operations and treat the warehouses as one, increasing efficiency in receiving and storage. After completing the Day in the Life Workshop and observing how supply chain personnel replenished their point of care supply rooms, we took advantage of Oracle’s PAR replenishment capabilities and implemented a custom PAR count module with Oracle. 
  • Regional Hospital (Western US) – within two weeks of the implementation of Oracle ERP and Supply chain, the customer was able to pre-emptively catch a half-pallet of expired goods at the dock. This saved them from delivering expired supplies to the provider facility.
  • Clinic Chain (US) – the customer was experiencing many issues with inventory stocking. We discovered that some staff were personally collecting certain supplies to ensure they always had access to them – because their old supply chain processes were broken and unreliable. Once we went live with Oracle ERP and Supply Chain, the staff knew they could rely on inventory count and restocking schedules, and the issue was eliminated.

Prioritizing Supply Chain Management in Hospitals 

If there is one takeaway from this post, let it be that your hospital supply chain is complex and intricate, but it can be managed effectively and accurately. With the right tools, like Oracle’s SaaS product suite, and the right team, like the professionals at Apps Associates, you can control your supply chain and ensure your staff can operate efficiently and safely. 

Contact Apps Associates today to discuss your supply chain and receiving processes.