Friday, July 3, 2015

I'm from the government and I'm here to help

In honor of the July 4th holiday  

The most terrifying words in the English language are: 
I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
- Ronald Reagan

See below for the OpEd portion of our blog this week.. But I did want to point out to all of you selling drugs to pharmacies and dispensers that although they now have until November 1st to comply with the DSCSA, It's already law for distributors so you had better get with the program.
Need help?  The MDS-Nx System is fully compliant and allows you to track and trace any product drugs , food etc.

Now we return to your regular programming.  This a repost from
Susan DeVore on WSJ.

It’s no secret that health care today is fragmented, with each provider in the system implementing its own individualized care processes, protocols and operations. Because each provider operates independently, there is incredible variation across the system, which leads to unnecessary costs and inefficiencies that can end up affecting patients. And this is all the more true in the healthcare supply chain.

Over the years, providers have tried in earnest to overcome this fragmentation by implementing information technology to automate when they can, and eliminate tasks that used to be completed manually, at an individual’s discretion. But in the process, each provider has put in place a series of different technologies, systems and platforms, everything from billing software to electronic purchasing systems, and scheduling tools to clinical decision support. Each of these systems is provided by a different vendor, which means that many of them can’t interoperate easily, and few interconnect data on one integrated platform. The end result tends to be more fragmentation, rather than less, as pieces and parts get stitched together.

Just one example illustrates the point. Let’s say a hospital wants to start buying a new line of surgical mesh. They go to one system to figure out which vendors even sell this mesh. They use another system to figure out their pricing. And yet another system to actually purchase the items. Later, they need to access a separate system to track where this mesh was actually used. And they have to complete this same process for each of the thousands of items they order. It’s an antiquated and inefficient process that’s ripe for a radical overhaul.

Moreover, fragmentation inhibits the ability to evaluate clinical efficacy of purchased supplies, as well as identify opportunities to improve efficiency. Since the purchasing systems tend to operate independently of clinical tools like the electronic medical record, it’s difficult for health systems to evaluate products and standardize around those that are yielding better outcomes for patients. Because all the health system’s purchasing data isn’t sitting on a common platform, it’s also difficult for hospitals to analyze spending across their network to determine which facilities or departments have outlier spending and why. It’s a narrow view that only provides a glimpse of the bigger picture. It’s the equivalent of trying to figure out who’s at the door by looking through the side window as opposed to using the peephole.

What’s truly needed in health care are integrated, supply-chain-technology solutions that look to better manage every work stream, from planning to payment, all on a common system. With an integrated platform where all these disparate applications can work together, we can drive more efficient care and better clinical outcomes across the continuum.

We have this today in most consumer markets, where individuals can shop for a pair of shoes, compare pricing, check availability, place an order and track the shipment, all on a single device, enabled by data stored in the cloud.

In the supply chain, it’s high time we interconnected sourcing technologies and analytics to enable total visibility into operational processes, and replicate the IT experience of the smartphone. It is only with this functionality that we will truly be able to modernize and achieve the efficiency gains that health systems desperately need in order to remain financially solvent and make better decisions for patients like you and me.

Susan DeVore is president and CEO of Premier Inc., a health-care performance improvement alliance of 3,000 U.S. community hospitals.

Could not agree more with Susan and second the cause. For those of you who don't get the implication of the quote, If we don't do it ourselves the government is not going to help.  Do you need a new system to move your supply chain into the future?
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