Why the Time is Now for Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) In Healthcare
As healthcare facilities keep taking on more patients, resources are stretched thin in many cases. As a result, healthcare staff members continue to take on additional work. So, there is a need to make the most use of a healthcare provider’s time for the most patient benefit.
Often healthcare workers are burdened with complicated supply management systems. Tasks relating to supply management take too long when facilities don’t use available technology. A solution that saves time and increases productivity is a VMI healthcare supply system. With a VMI system, the supplier owns the inventory and is responsible for managing supplies on an as-needed basis.
There are a number of ways a VMI system saves costs. First, overhead is reduced because the facility no longer keeps a large stock of supplies. And there are the benefits of freed-up space that facilities with VMI systems quickly realize. Waste reduction is another way costs are cut since products are supplied as needed. And when hospitals negotiate with vendors for a VMI system, they typically receive a volume discount.
How VMI Impacts Physician Preference Items (PPI)
PPI refers to the practical supplies and tools that healthcare practitioners use and considers their “preferred” or “favorite” items. Standardized PPI is necessary for VMI to be successful in healthcare facilities. The key to making this work is by fostering collaboration with physicians. Before selecting a standard PPI tool or supply, allowing physicians to use them first and provide feedback results in the ideal choice.
Once the doctors or surgeons agree on their preferred item, the hospital administrator or procurement manager finds the vendor with the best price. Additional considerations are the vendor’s experience and success as a VMI healthcare supplier. While it’s not always possible, limiting options to a single VMI supplier for PPI allows ongoing close collaboration. It also creates performance accountability for that vendor. Hospitals that implement VMI for supplies, including PPI, save a considerable amount.
VMI Has A Long Record Of Successful Implementations
While some healthcare facilities have implemented VMI systems successfully, the trend has not caught up with other sectors. One reason for this is the perceived complications with implementing a VMI system in a healthcare setting. There are logistics involved with transitioning existing supply inventory over. However, technology and software programs make this an easy process.
Outside of the healthcare sector, VMI is a standard for many dynamic corporations. IBM, Apple, and Walmart are just a few examples of successful VMI implementation.
To realize all of the benefits of a VMI system, consider a software program that tracks, manages, documents, and analyzes your vendor inventory. A good software program helps ease the implementation process and streamline the ongoing management of vendor inventory.