Article | December 15, 2020
The use of technology in hospitals has been increasing for the last decade and at present, it has reached an all-time high. However, it may be surprising to realize that the healthcare supply chain management (SCM) area of hospitals has not fully embraced technology. According to a survey conducted among 100 hospitals recently, nearly half of these hospitals use less sophisticated/outdated tools or manual processes, such as Excel spreadsheets, to manage supply expenses, inventory, and other supply chain activities.
According to the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM), healthcare supply chain management costs will surpass labor costs shortly for the number one position. But there is good news; similar surveys show potential for significant healthcare supply chain management cost savings. For example, an analysis by Navigant consulting estimates that, by standardizing and streamlining the healthcare supply chain management processes, hospitals can save an average of US$11 million per hospital or 17.7% annually.
What is Healthcare Supply Chain Management
Procurement, distribution, and movement of products and services from the receiving deck to the patient encompass the process of healthcare supply chain management.
There are a lot of challenges in healthcare supply chain management processes. The major issues include demand for specific types of product in inventory, hoarding of supplies, out-of-stock issues that may lead to expensive delivery charges, product expirations, unwarranted increase in inventory dollars based on demand, and pilferage, among others. These issues may contribute to out-of-budget supply costs.
Healthcare supply chain management is an extremely complex process. Poor product standardization, inadequate data reporting, a lack of automation throughout the process, and increasing regulatory requirements only add to the difficulties. Thus, an easy way to get rid of all these complexities is to incorporate advanced technologies in the healthcare supply chain management process.
Healthcare Supply Chain Management Technology
Advanced healthcare supply chain management technologies are developed to transform the supply chain process to a more efficient one by automating repetitive manual tasks in hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Minimizing waste, enabling timely data-based decision-making, streamlining inventory, and reducing labour, supply, and operational costs are the major benefits of healthcare supply chain management software.
There are mainly two types of healthcare supply chain management technology solutions, enterprise resource planning systems and niche healthcare inventory and healthcare supply chain management solutions.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
ERP systems are not the best for healthcare supply chain management specifically because these systems are used in many industries. Also, the concerned vendors often do not have the required healthcare expertise. As this is mainly implemented by larger and non-healthcare related businesses, it may take a longer time to implement. Also, it requires dedicated customization resources. This makes it inflexible for the healthcare industry supply chain management.
Niche Healthcare Inventory and Supply Chain Solutions
This type is known as the best-of-breed healthcare supply chain management solutions. They provide healthcare-directed and flexible solutions as they are affordable and incorporate deeper industry knowledge. These systems can also focus on specific areas such as interventional medicine, surgery, and other healthcare departments.
Why Should Hospitals Invest in Healthcare SCM Technology
Although hospitals and other healthcare organizations have demonstrated excellent performance in fighting COVID-19, the pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in the present healthcare supply chain management process. Supply shortages, especially lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), highlighted how poor healthcare supply chain management affected healthcare providers. The underlying concern behind the supply shortage is that hospitals’ supply chains are not well prepared for the future of healthcare. Organizations are depending upon old models, which are not innovative, agile, or advanced enough to cater to the requirements of the modern data and technology-driven world.
Automating Healthcare supply chain management will be a major differentiator for hospitals at present and in future, impacting all aspects, including brand reputation, consumer trust, and quality of care. Healthcare leaders, such as organization heads and hospital administrators, require a new healthcare supply chain management system to deliver care at a lower cost. To realize this requirement, they have to make bold decisions and speed up the transformation of their healthcare supply chain.
Acceleration of healthcare supply chain management transformation will be grounded in many imperatives, which are related to process, people, and technology. The digital transformation focusing on these areas will fasten the long-term growth and sustainability of healthcare supply chain management.
Digital Transformation to Raise Healthcare Supply Chain to New Levels
The Healthcare industry has given importance, other than information systems and key enterprise technologies, to electronic health record platforms in the last decade. Currently, the healthcare industry is on the brink of a digital revolution. Several technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), are opening new doors for healthcare organizations to evolve to a level beyond anything previously imagined. It will surely affect healthcare supply chain management.
However, the healthcare supply chain has not yet kept pace with changing technologies. To create a fully developed supply chain, hospitals should find innovative ways to integrate their physical process with digital data. Hospitals should start using tools such as predictive analytics along with digital statistics and information to drive decisions.
Investing in this technology integrated healthcare supply chain management, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations will help achieve optimal benefits. However, it needs an efficient deployment of new technologies, such as the integration of ML and AI, and maintain a functioning healthcare system.
Collaboration Between People and Technology for Better Results
Years of operating in traditional systems has delayed the progress of healthcare supply chain management. As the consequences of running out of stock can be devastating in the healthcare system, leaders and clinical professionals have to look at supply chain differently. The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated and strengthened the necessity of better collaboration. Now leaders need to act timely to solidify these changes, brought out by the pandemic, to stop people reverting to behaviours that were problematic in the past.
Automation will make the future of the workforce and supply chain workflows more efficient. The greatness of the impact on future healthcare supply chain management performance depends upon the greatness of the automation of work. Hospitals should highly focus on technology to perform various repetitive tasks, including delivering patient food trays, gathering supplies and bringing them to caregivers, picking case carts, and transporting supply carts to storage rooms. Staff efficiency is increased, when repetitive tasks and predictable work are automated and performed by robots. This helps staff focus on more complex tasks that drive innovation and value.
Digital transformation occurs only when there is strong leadership and a conducive culture. Hospitals should realize the value of data in decision making and change their view about the supply chain leader. Modern healthcare supply chain management leaders are those who excel in education, governance, collaboration and communication, and change management. In hospitals, the supply chain management leader position should be elevated to executive level and they should be capable of using modern technologies for effectively handling the healthcare supply chain management process.
The Future of Supply Chain Operations
The sole aim of effective healthcare supply chain management has been finding the lowest cost products for the end-user without considering much about the profit of the manufacturer. The alarming product shortages and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic have changed that. Now, leaders are much more focused on how to diversify manufacturer product origins.
Technological advancements and digital transformation will encourage the efforts to evolve vendor and inventory management, which is evident in procure-to-pay strategies. In case of procure-to-pay strategies, hospitals can reduce cost and increase efficiency by integrating technology assistance in areas such as accounts payable, including invoice discrepancies, match exceptions, and placing purchase orders electronically.
In hospitals, healthcare supply chain management should evolve quickly to forecast and adjust the changing flow of patient volumes and care sites. Increased acute care in the home, utilization of telehealth, and remote patient monitoring will surely change demand for care facilities and supply demands from consumers. Efficiently catering to these requirements with the assistance of the latest technologies will determine the future of hospitals and healthcare supply chain management. In the healthcare supply chain management, technologies will play a vibrant role in boosting competence and reducing cost from now. Get yourself updated to avoid getting outdated!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the value of supply chain management in healthcare?
The healthcare supply chain management process ensures the right time availability of medicines, maximizing patient care, minimizing inventory wastage, and minimizing human errors. Healthcare supply chain management ensures timely availability of medicines for all patients at right time at lower cost possible.
What are the 5 basic components of supply chain management?
The five basic components of supply chain management are plan, source, manufacture, deliver, and return. Through these five components of supply chain management hospitals ensure the availability of all the medicines in hospitals. Shortage of essential medicines and other articles brings total chaos to the system.
Why is Supply Chain Management important for a hospital?
Supply chain management is essential for hospitals and other healthcare organizations as it ensures the availability of medicines and medical equipment so that patients get access to all facilities in time. In order to keep a consistent patient experience, an efficient supply chain management is necessary for all hospitals.
Article | April 1, 2020
The world is caught up in the dual health and economic crises of the novel coronavirus and resultant disease COVID-19. Globally, the healthcare industry has rallied around the challenge in unprecedented ways: drug companies and medical researchers are racing to find therapeutics and vaccines that can treat, cure, or prevent the disease. Diagnostics companies are developing tests at an unprecedented rate and scaling up production of test kits and diagnostic instruments. Medical device companies are working overtime to manufacture more of everything from personal protective equipment (PPE) to ventilators. Regulators are fast-tracking innovations, and government is rushing to add treatment capacity through ad-hoc medical facilities.
Article | January 29, 2021
COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of healthcare technology solutions by healthcare providers. This has unexpectedly brought a peak in opportunity for health tech companies to achieve important business, demonstrating your innovations. However, it is very challenging and competitive as bigger health tech companies pivot and new health tech start-ups keep coming into the healthcare market. This also makes the healthcare technology market an increasingly competitive space.
Thus, all health tech companies need to depend more on effective health tech messaging for their business purpose and credibility. This will help them bring their targeted clients on board for the long-term.
Health tech Messaging Challenges Faced by Marketers
Nowadays, the process of marketing products online is a combat sport. With every passing year, it is becoming more challenging for health tech marketers to beat the algorithms, build the audience, and ultimately win the hearts of the customers through effective health tech messaging.
Digital health leaders are coming up with amazing technology innovations that can revolutionize the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records (EMR) software, medical billing software, medical practice management software, electronic claims software, medical database software, medical research software, medical diagnosis software, medical imaging software, telemedicine software, etc. are some of the examples of amazing technology innovations and latest healthcare technologies. But, things fall apart when it comes to marketing through effective health tech messaging. The following are some of the health tech messaging challenges faced by marketers.
• Communicating the purpose and value of your business and the products effectively to
• Making the clients understand the credibility of the technology products and your business
• Product positioning
• Lack of clear healthcare marketing strategy
• Bad marketing advice
• Lack of effective and compelling marketing content
• Failing to understand the client/buyer persona
• Failing to understand the brand pillars,
• Ignorant of effective use of various messaging channels, and much more
Why Does Effective Health Tech Messaging Matter?
From the introduction part, you might have already understood the power of a good health tech messaging strategy. If you do not have a unified marketing strategy, you will end up merely alienating potential customers; they may end up in confusion about the purpose of your health tech brand. Moreover, without an effective health tech messaging strategy, you may become incoherent to your audience. But the real impact of a cohesive and good health tech messaging strategy will surely go beyond everything we have talked about already and empower your business in all aspects.
Different marketing materials, whether they are social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, or something else, your health tech messaging strategy will guide you in determining what to focus on and what tone to be used. If you are planning a social media campaign or writing blogs and articles, you will know the attention-grabbing ways of speaking to your customers. This is possible only if you have a defined messaging strategy. Customer service teamwork also becomes more effective and easier, when you have a good health tech messaging strategy. Educating the customer is easier when you speak to them in a tone and language that you know they will understand. Doing it consistently makes you win the customer.
How Health Tech Messaging Can Work for Reaching Healthcare Decision Makers
It is not an easy task to engage healthcare decision-makers in hospitals, insurance providers, health systems, and private practices. These high-powered directors, managers, and executives are busier than ever. This makes the process of health tech marketing difficult. Apart from overwhelming job responsibilities, these healthcare professionals are also inundated with ads, emails, and phone calls. So rather than sending them messages randomly, it is important to help your prospects when they are free from their daily disruptions and have time.
Here, an effective health tech messaging strategy can help you reach out to decision makers easily. Health tech messaging strategy lays out various health tech marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech messaging techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey: awareness, consideration, and decision making stages. Through all these stages of health tech massaging, you help or influence health tech decision makers to recognise they have a problem, consider a solution, and finally they take the decision to purchase your product.
4 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging
Performing your brand messaging haphazardly is not going to take you anywhere in reaching out to people, who need your products. Instead, you should slow down yourself a bit and build a compelling health tech messaging strategy. Test it, launch it, and learn from it.
If you are strategic, you are truly going to drive your mission despite the noise that is existing on the internet today. Here are four important factors that will help you make your health tech messaging strategy effective and compelling.
Understanding Your Targeted Audience
You have a better idea of who you are and what you offer. Now you need to know who your audience is, which is equally important in building health tech messaging strategy. Throughout the process of messaging, it is vital to keep your ideal buyer in mind. So, you will only create messages that will resonate with the needs, interests, motivations, and pain points of your potential clients. The things you want to know about your targeted clients are called buyer/client persona.
It is better to create a buyer persona that tells who your customer and what their goals are. Buyer persona also will help you align your brand with your customers. According to HubSpot, a buyer persona can be a semi-fictional representation of your potential customers based on real data and market research and about your current customers.
Knowing who your messages are aimed at is important in developing a successful health tech brand messaging strategy. Before you go any further, buyer persona makes you know:
• Who you are marketing to
• What they care about and value
• The sort of language they use and will respond to
• Geographical location
• Educational and income levels
• Psychographics and behavioral patterns, etc.
Focusing on Your Differentiating Factors from Competitors
To figure out your differentiating factors from the competitors is as important as you understand your place in the market. You will have to assess the differences and similarities between the products and services you offer and your competitors’ offerings. Also, compare the targeted audience of you and your competitors.
Understanding your competition, you face from the market, will get you a clear image of your brand and what health tech message you may have to send out to your targeted audience. Just remember that each of the health tech brands can have only one message; it needs to be unique. Due to the competition, messages can be too similar, but it should not make your customers get confused about your business.
Thus, communicating your uniqueness to your audience is a very important factor. In this regard, conducting some competitor analysis may help you a lot.
Making your Value Propositions Obvious
You can influence how people perceive your brand if you could successfully communicate the values of your business. Values are principles or mission that guide all actions of brands. Storytelling can be effectively used to illustrate the values of your brand. Success stories from Salesforce and Microsoft’s Story Labs are examples. These stories can be on things such as empowering small businesses or improving the world through technology. It creates loyalty when you make your clients feel they are part of something that is going to change the world for the better.
It is very helpful to start your health tech messaging process with your value prop because it is the core of what you do and who you are. Your value prop explains both the emotional and functional benefits your service or products provides. This means the value people get out of your products. Communicating the values of your company is considered strong health tech messaging only when it specifies how your brand is going to solve a problem and why should people choose your product.
Using Multiple Technology Channels for Brand Messaging
In general, digital health tech messaging has to be pinpointed. The spray and pray method will not work to bring in inbound leads. However, if you want to reach out to health tech audience with your health tech messaging, you should be there on all the channels they are on. Here are a few examples of channels, which can be used to reach out to people effectively with your health tech messaging process.
If digital ads are used effectively for health tech messaging, you can reach out to your target audience easily. When digital ads are used correctly, you can pinpoint the audience through audience targeting and keywords. Moreover, through ad channels, you can reach out to people who otherwise would not have ever known about your products. However, if you are not using digital ads effectively, you will lose money without any results.
Most people are active on some sort of social media channels. Many of these people use these channels either for networking or educating themselves in their field.
This is the reason why you should concentrate on social media platforms for effective health tech messaging in a way that encourages interaction and feedback. Along with establishing a strong relationship with your prospects, you can also use social media platforms to build brand awareness through health tech messaging process.
Emails are the fruitful medium for effective health tech messaging. You can build brand awareness through seeding emails regularly. It will work as a bookmark than a selling point. Potential clients will remember the good interaction you had with them through emails when they have a problem in the future.
Along with these channels, other channels such as videos, websites, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. also can be used for effective health tech messaging. These multiple channels, where most of your potential clients are present, are selling points for your health tech products or helps in lead generation for healthcare technology products.
To sum up, what matters more in health tech messaging and marketing is projecting your values, differentiating factors, knowing A to Z about your targeted audience, and meeting them on the channel, where they are present. Your health tech brand message is something that makes you dwell in the minds of people. Thus, how you are perceived matters a lot. Start building your brand today by sending out effective health tech messages to your potential clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does health tech messaging help?
Heathtech messaging helps you to improve your business by making your potential clients understand what you are and what you do. Brand awareness of your products is done through effective health tech messaging.
What is the best health tech messaging method?
The best health tech messaging method is to project your business values in all the marketing campaigns you do. It should specify what your customers can expect from your products and services and what changes it will make in society.
How does technology help in healthcare?
Technology helps healthcare to avail all patients the best treatment available and make them satisfied and engaged. Also, technology helps healthcare industry to innovate treatments and revolutionize the entire practice in the healthcare sector.
Why is technology important in healthcare?
For achieving optimum patient satisfaction and engagement, technology is important in healthcare. Also, technology plays a role in improving the healthcare system and saving the lives of people.
Article | February 14, 2021
Tempted to throw in the towel on your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a natural reaction during this unprecedented year. I’m here to tell you it’s okay—and you probably don’t need them anyway.
You’re in good company if you’ve given up on the big shifts. According to widely-cited research study, only 19% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. In addition, this may not have been the best time to make changes, given all that’s going on with the pandemic.
Also, worthwhile to consider the following insights on the unease with making big changes these days. According to research published in Molecular Psychiatry, when you go through prolonged challenging times (and the pandemic certainly qualifies), chronic stress can change the architecture of your brain and make you feel worn out, anxious, fearful, or depressed. These aren’t the best conditions for making major changes.
You may also face “change saturation,” or in other words, you’ve had to make so many transitions, you just can’t make any more. To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed, focus on attainable aspirations. Here are a few recommendations.
DREAM ON A SMALLER SCALE
Success for the next 12 months may be closely tied to a less-is-more approach. Instead of seeking a whole new career, maybe you can set your sights on getting assigned to a new project at your current company. In other words, consider how you can tweak your behaviors rather than overhauling them.
Cultivate gratitude. Appreciate the little things. When you’re more tuned into what you have, you’re less focused on what you still want. This “enough mentality” can be helpful to your mental health. You don’t have to make big changes to achieve satisfaction or happiness. Contentment starts with gratitude.
Avoid perfectionism. Often, the fuel for big changes is a feeling you or your situation are not perfect. Remind yourself that perfection is a myth and focus on what’s working. This will help you find fulfillment with your present reality (even if it’s not all you aspire to).
Make a list, then edit down. Another great way to keep your ambitions reasonable is to make a list of all you want to accomplish and then eliminate everything but the top three items. A surefire route to frustration is to expect too much and put unrealistic pressures on yourself. Instead, focus on just a few vital things you want to accomplish, rather than a long list that does not empower you. After you’ve accomplished the first three goals on your list, you can always come back to the others, but give yourself a fighting chance to achieve the most integral top three, first.
Keep yourself accountable through specific techniques—and pay attention to events that may cause you to slide backwards. Research in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explains that 40% of your behaviors occur in similar situations, which is to say familiar circumstances encourage the repetition of choices. Therefore, if you’re able to adjust one potentially repeated behavior, it can make a difference.
Create routines and conveniences. When you want to nurture a behavior, make it a default so you’re not thinking consciously about it. Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found when you repeat behaviors in a consistent context, it helps with habit formation and these take hold much more effectively. You can use this to your advantage. Instead of making a conscious choice each morning whether you want the donut or the smoothie, have the sliced fruit ready to go and the blender on the counter so when you arrive bleary-eyed to the kitchen in the morning, you’re just doing what’s already laid out. Start each day with the routine of responding to quick-hit emails. Rather than deciding what to work on first, just create a routine where you’re repeating behavior that works without as much conscious thought.
Plan ahead. When you can plan for things, you can usually control them more effectively. If you’re going to be in a situation that might create challenges for your new behaviors, make a plan. Perhaps you’re going to the grocery store and you can make a plan to avoid the cookie aisle. Or if you’re back in the office, avoid the calorie-tempting socially distanced happy hour with colleagues by leaving right on time and get a head start on the big project you’re working on. Anticipating what might present challenges will help you overcome them.
Support can be the difference between making small changes and not succeeding at all. Find a source that works for you.
Find friends. Create a virtual group of people also trying to make changes. Perhaps there’s an online group where you can exchange healthy recipes or provide mutual encouragement for regular trips to the gym. Also tap into your existing network and ask your friend to check in with you to see if you’ve had your workout for the day. Seek out colleagues who can nurture the writing skills you want to develop. Find people who encourage you, provide feedback, and remind you about your ability to succeed.
Use technology thoughtfully. There are a wide variety of virtual solutions to help you shift your behavior. Download the app that allows you to track your water intake or the app that will send you notifications if you haven’t moved enough in the last hour. Look for apps that can help you learn the new language you’ve been wanting to add to your skill set or that can connect you with colleagues who have like-minded ambitions. Behavior shifts are most likely to occur with planning, reminders, and feedback. So, find apps that provide these three kinds of support.
Give yourself permission to do less for now and know you can always do more later. In the meantime, stay strong and be satisfied with a little progress for now.