Common Healthcare Procurement Problems and How to Solve Them

healthcare procurement problems

Over the years, technology has significantly improved the field of healthcare. These days, patients can easily interact with their doctors online, and doctors can perform laparoscopic surgeries. Plus, there’s no need to deal with paper prescriptions again. 

However, despite focusing on the benefits, we’ve largely ignored the common healthcare procurement problems recently. We have to understand these problems to find a solution. That’s what we’re going to do here in this article.

Photo by Adhy Savala on Unsplash 

4 Critical Healthcare Procurement Challenges

While we could’ve added many more to the list, we decided to focus only on those that we believe are the top 4.

1. Paper-based Operations

When you use manual procedures to order, collect and distribute goods, you may encounter delays and obstacles in providing vital supplies. However, automation is an excellent solution to solve these issues. An e-procurement solution, for instance, can add transparency to stock levels, ordering, and delivery schedules.

An automated e-procurement solution helps you monitor your supplies and equipment levels to plant restocks well ahead of time to avoid backorders. It’ll also help you forecast purchase levels and accurately estimate budgets.

With data and analytics from an automated solution, you can see what supplies and equipment you have and where inventory is falling. You can also anticipate future purchasing needs and establish more realistic budgets.

2. Leaving Procurement to the Doctors & Different Departments

In most cases, it’s not wise to put different departments in charge of product and service procurement because it can significantly increase costs and decrease the quality of products. It also makes supplier relationship management more difficult. 

An ideal solution would be to use automated solutions like e-tendering and e-auction that operate based on a wealth of data about suppliers, the current inventory, shortages, and the potential need for specific services and goods. Not only will that keep the costs to a minimum, but it’ll also lead to high-quality selections. 

3. Poor Distribution & Delivery

Using inefficient methods to distribute items and services to the institutions and physicians might raise prices. For instance, ordering supplies that must be disassembled from bigger boxes for redelivery to several hospitals within your health system may add to labor costs. Even though these costs could be buried in everyday budget items, they still impact your net profit. 

You may increase productivity and lower costs by optimizing supply delivery methods. The same holds when it comes to managing services. For instance, overpaying for background screening services might only waste time and money. Instead, you can customize background check operations based on the screening services needed for particular work groups.

4. Poor Labor Management

When procurement systems prevent clinicians from receiving the items and services they require, that personnel must spend time hunting for resources rather than delivering direct care to patients. When your staff spends time on non-essential tasks, labor costs can skyrocket.

Nurses typically spend a lot of time looking for equipment. To solve this issue, make sure the procurement system isn’t just focusing on delivering equipment to a particular department. You can use automated processes to make these supplies readily available for doctors.

Bottom Line

Every second matters in the healthcare industry because it is literally a matter of life and death. All healthcare personnel should only focus their energy and time on the main task: delivering care to patients. 

That’s why automated solutions like e-procurement, e-tendering, and e-auction can solve many common healthcare procurement problems. We at Penny can help you do this because we offer all these solutions and more, helping you save lives. Contact us to learn more about our products and affordable options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Penny is a cloud-based Procure-To-Pay system. penny helps you digitize and manage your full procurement cycle from request to approval. Manage RFQs to vendors, compare quotations, send POs and even payment. penny was designed to make things easy and consolidate all of your organization’s spending needs into one intelligent system.

  • Allocate, manage and monitor budgets by expense accounts, projects, departments, location, teams..etc 
  • Streamlining procurement means requests, approvals, and POs won’t be lost in emails or offline.  
  • History and records of requests and purchases can be extracted and tracked easily via the platform. 
  • Product requests are more accurate through the catalog, and hence avoid purchasing mistakes.
  • Reports and analysis can be extracted from the platform, giving you a consolidated data center for all your procurement activities.
  • penny is cloud-based and an easy to use platform. The action-board gives your team a user-friendly and simple experience.

Yes, penny is designed to handle complex procurement operations. We make EVERYTHING simple. Via the contract management feature, you can set the terms and conditions of your contract, and the system will recognize the products and the vendors of your request and match it with specified terms of your contract. Easy.

Putting you in control of your spending is integral to our mission. penny allows you to create Expense Accounts that match your P&L, and assign budgets to them. For example, you can assign $X for your “Travel Budget” and reflect on the budget before approving a travel request. In addition, penny allows you to set budgets for cost centers like projects, departments, locations, and so much more. With penny, you can extract reports and view your spend per Expense Accounts or cost center.

Yes. If your product search finds no results, you can submit a non-standard request.

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