Driving Results Blog

By Jake Crampton

The Driving Results Blog is a space for MedSpeed’s CEO, Jake Crampton, to share insights about a variety of healthcare topics. Occasionally, other members of the MedSpeed leadership team will use this space to discuss matters of particular importance to them.

 


 

 

 

A Network of Providers Leverages Lean for Success

Lean is something that we care about at MedSpeed. We strive to learn and continuously tweak how we do things to create better, and yes, leaner, intra-company logistics for our clients.

A recent Modern Healthcare article which discussed the benefits of Lean, noted that if one hospital is facing a problem with quality or safety, chances are pretty good that another probably has the same or similar problem. Makes sense, right?

A group of providers across the country came together and created a network called Catalyst to focus on how to fix problems using Lean management. Their focus was clinical: hospital-acquired infections. A primary objective was reducing the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). Unfortunately, the deadly complication still affects more than 30,000 patients a year with a 12% to 25% mortality rate, at a huge cost to the U.S. healthcare system.

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Focus on Healthcare Finances Will Only Get Greater

Margin pressures are not new to healthcare organizations. As hospitals and health systems wait in limbo as the healthcare reform debate continues, they will only increase. A recent Becker’s Hospital Review article highlights the need for health systems to continue to find ways to re-structure in order to find added value and remain viable: Activity-based costing, team commitment, understanding the drivers of work and embedding cost savings into operations.

It also lists 10 areas that the author recommends health systems target for maximum cost improvement: Manage the healthcare cost of your own workforce, eliminate subscale services, optimize service line spend, maximize IT spend, flex the workforce, find the waste, reconsider capital spend, reduce the cost of leakage, reduce bad debt and avoid potential costs.

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New Survey Links Supply Chain Management to Better Quality and Patient Care

Historically, supply chain management has struggled to get the attention it merits. Over the years, it has been increasing in importance and a recent industry survey supports this increased focus.

The survey highlights opportunities for improvement and modernization in supply chain management. Most importantly, in my opinion, it found that outdated and manual healthcare supply chain management processes detract from care delivery. Frontline clinicians said that they spend a full two hours per 12 hour shift managing inventory issues. Nearly two-thirds of those frontline clinicians said they wish they could trade the time they spend managing supply chain for more patient care time.

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Medical Labs Find Financial Efficiencies by Identifying and Fixing the Recurring Cost of Bad Quality

Like everyone in healthcare, clinical laboratories and pathology groups feel the financial squeeze. Shrinking budgets and decreasing prices for lab tests have made financial efficiencies a primary goal for nearly every medical lab in the United States, as noted in a recent article in Dark Daily. According to the article, labs shouldn’t only focus on low-hanging fruit like reducing staff overtime. They should also turn their attention to one of the biggest cost control opportunities: reducing errors.

The article notes that the “recurring cost of bad quality” is a fairly new concept in clinical laboratory operations. There have been attempts to address it, but unfortunately, much of the recurring cost of bad quality is nearly invisible. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that poor quality is all too often accepted as a normal consequence of lab tests.

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Everyone Wins with the Right Strategic Relationship

There are organizations—healthcare ones among them—that are oriented towards insourcing functions, even when those functions lie outside of the organization’s core competency. There was a time (and still may be times) when full insourcing of the supply chain made sense: think Ford Motor Company in its early days. However, it is becoming more difficult to make a case for insourcing non–core functions, especially in healthcare, when better efficiency, more flexibility, higher profit margins and improved patient care can be achieved through strategic relationships.

That being said, you don’t want a strategic relationship with just anyone. Strategic relationships that align the capabilities and interests of two different entities can enable both organizations to deliver better service and better products. In today’s complex and dynamic healthcare marketplace, agility, efficiency and quality are the new drivers of success, and leveraging strategic relationships can turbo-charge performance.

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Driving Transportation Logistics to the Next Level to Create Systemness

Recently, our work with client Inova Health System, was the focus of a feature article in Greenhealth Magazine, the publication of Practice Greenhealth.

Inova Health System, based in northern Virginia, is a complex network of hospitals, outpatient facilities, physician practices, and health and wellness initiatives that serves more than 2 million people a year. The breadth of services provided makes for an equally complex method of getting physical materials—blood samples, lab results, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, supplies and more—from one location to another.

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Lessons from Outside Healthcare: Turning your supply chain into a strategic asset

In this age of technology and disruption, we often look outside of our own industry for new ideas to make things better and more efficient. And, “while hospitals are not factories and patients are not cars, health systems can learn valuable logistics lessons from the automotive and retail industries,” noted a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review.

Outlined in the article are seven supply chain lessons gleaned from industries such as automotive, electronic and industrial production:

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Healthcare Logistics and Transportation: Industry growth that delivers value

Since MedSpeed’s inception, we’ve believed in the important role healthcare logistics and transportation can play in the healthcare industry. A recent global report about the growth of the healthcare transportation services market studies that question.

According to the 151-page report for an analysis conducted by IndustryARC, healthcare transportation/logistics is a burgeoning business with significant projected growth. IndustryARC estimates that the global healthcare transportation services market will reach $93.2 billion in 2021. That reflects a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.17% from $73.48 billion in 2015.

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MedSpeed’s CEO Wins Loyola University Chicago Supply & Value Chain Center’s Supply Chain Innovation Award

By Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, Vice President of Marketing

 

We talk a lot about innovation in this space, so I’m excited to announce that our CEO, Jake Crampton has been selected as the winner of the Loyola University Chicago Supply & Value Chain Center’s Supply Chain Innovation Award. Jake accepted the award the award at Loyola’s 5th Annual Supply Chain and Sustainability Summit.

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First Things First: True health system integration requires big picture focus

One option to getting things done quickly is to just dive in. And in some cases, that is the best option. However, in a recent H&HN post, author Jeff Jones, urges healthcare organizations attempting to eliminate redundancies and create true integration to resist that instinct. Healthcare leaders who think that integration “is simply a series of operational assignments and a redrawing of the org chart” couldn’t be more wrong.

Jones argues that the process should focus on the purpose of integration and what is going to be measured.

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