Article | April 11, 2020
Over the past twenty-five years most businesses have been revolutionized by the easy availability of cloud and mobile-based computing systems. These technologies have placed power and access into the hands of employees and customers, which in turn has created huge shifts in how transactions get done. Now the companies with the highest market value are both the drivers of and beneficiaries of this transition, notably Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet (Google), as well as their international rivals like Samsung, Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. Everyone uses their products every day, and the impact on our lives have been remarkable. Of course, this also impacts how businesses of all types are organized. Underpinning this transformation has been a change from enterprise-specific software to generic cloud-based services—sometimes called SMAC (Social/Sensors/Mobile/Analytics/Cloud). Applications such as data storage, sales management, email and the hardware they ran on were put into enterprises during the 80s and 90s in the client-server era (dominated by Intel and Microsoft). These have now migrated to cloud-based, on-demand services.
Article | June 14, 2021
COVID-19 has practically given a metaphorical high-voltage jolt to the whole world. It fell like a plague and affected humans in a way that nothing else has since the last global war. In short, it has reminded us of our mortality. As a result, improvement has become the new goal for the wise.
According to Jana Abelovska, Head Pharmacist atClick Pharmacy, “COVID-19 has put the world on notice, especially the healthcare sector. Everything and everyone has seen its effects. But in this turmoil also come opportunities – an opportunity to grow and be better. It is a time of progress to help create a better and healthier tomorrow.”
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 According to a survey conducted among 100 hospitals recently, nearly half of these hospitals use less sophisticated/outdated tools or manual processes, such as Excel spreadsheets, to manage supply expenses, inventory, and other supply chain activities.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 | February 4, 2021
It is not an easy task to engage 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.
Inbound marketing, a new form of marketing, lays out various effective healthcare marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech marketing techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey:
Awareness Stage: This is the stage where they do not know they have a problem, but you make them aware of the fact that they have a problem.
Consideration Stage: In this stage, they are aware that they have a problem and consider finding a solution from you or your competitor.
Decision Stage: This is the final stage, where prospects make a decision.
Here are some effective health tech marketing techniques to engage new health tech marketing prospects online all through these stages.
Offer Entertaining and Informative Blog Content
Content is king. Roper Public Affairs, in their research report, say that around 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer to gather information from articles and blogs over ads. According to the research done by HubSpot, companies that publish blogs frequently get 4.5x more leads. Engage your health tech prospects with regular content that can address their interests and the problems they face.
However, it is a mistake to focus only on your health tech company’s benefits, features, or sales pitches in your blogs. This may make your prospects think you are just after their money. One of the best health tech marketing techniques to engage your prospects online is to provide answers to the challenges they face.
You can even ask and encourage your clients to contribute success stories or guest posts. These posts will have more value and the chances of them being shared are high. It is also better to create a strategy to make sure the health tech marketing content you make is valuable and relevant to your potential clients.
Encourage Social Media Feedback and Blog Comments
Providing great and prospect oriented health tech marketing content is just the beginning. You can solicit reactions from your audience. Asking questions at the end of blogs and social media health tech messages is a great way to collect reactions from the audience. It is good to thank them for responding when they leave a comment. Also, give them a comprehensive answer.
This will help build your credibility and make the clients come back. Sometimes, you may get spam comments, which are not connected to your post. Weed them out to make all comments relevant to the post. This health tech marketing technique will make your potential clients stay engaged in what you post online.
Host Google Hangouts or Webinars
People love being visually engaged. So, webinars or Google Hangouts are powerful tools that allow real-time interaction with your customers. This helps you to establish a personal connection with your potential clients through video or audio. Various visual aspects, including slides, graphics, and live videos, make it easier for you to share your content with customers.
Being an interactive health tech marketing technique, at the end of webinar sessions or Google hangout, you can have a Q and A session to clarify any questions from the clients. Compared to merely writing blog posts and articles, this, as a two-way dialogue, and will help you a lot in building a strong relationship with your clients.
Create a Group or Community
One of the best health tech marketing techniques to engage new customers is to interact in online forums and communities. Your buyers can get added to your members-only group automatically and then these members can socialize with each other and discuss healthcare technology.
These forums can be used to share content that is not available to the public. To the members, you can also offer various discounts and special pricing. Your customers, being part of such a group, will feel special and increase the possibility of a repeat purchase.
Co-Create with Existing Customers
If you are planning to write an e-book, improve your website, or launch a new product, involve your existing customers by getting suggestions from them. For fostering loyalty, depending on the situation, it is very effective to make your customers involved in major decision-making processes. They will feel proud that they participated, at the end of the process.
This health tech marketing technique may even allow you to hold a contest to select an idea from your customers for your next design and offer rewards for the one which is selected. Rewards can be a special mention on your website, a discount, or a freebie.
Another great health-tech marketing technique to build stronger relationships with your customers is to celebrate milestones with them. Any achievement, small or big, can be a milestone. Even, achieving an award for attaining a certain number of followers can be a milestone. Sharing such moments of success with your customers and social media followers may make them feel like they are part of your business and success.
It is also a good idea to give them a discount offer. Also, recognizing the success of your clients and featuring them will establish a good relationship with customers.
Monitor Social Media
The best place to engage your clients in conversations about your products and industry is social media. Selecting a topic that is trending in your industry may be a hot cake for you to have the conversation on your social media platforms. Tracking trending topics related to your industry will always give you an insight for your next blog post and social media posts.
By sharing, liking, and providing answers you can also take part in conversations. This will make you an authority and customers will feel good about your credibility. As a health tech marketing technique, monitoring social media will make you gain the trust of the customers and build your brand gradually but successfully.
Build a List of Leads and Nurture them
Email marketing, as a health tech marketing technique, is a very effective strategy to nurture B2B customer relationships. According to HubSpot, for business communication, 86% of people prefer emails. You will be in the minds of potential customers through your value-packed and attractive emails. They will remember you when they identify a requirement.
Through your emails, you can update and educate your potential customers about relevant topics and trends related to the health tech industry. A newsletter in a week will be fair enough to keep them engaged and updated about your brand and industry.
The key to generating more qualified leads and increasing your brand recognition is engaging new prospects tough new and innovative health tech marketing techniques. This will make your sales team’s job easier; they can convert these leads into customers. The above-listed health tech marketing techniques to engage with your prospects can be effectively used with your well-crafted Inbound marketing strategy.
Doing all of these alone can be very challenging. We, at Media7, partner with healthcare technology companies and healthcare tech marketers to offer support, strategy, and extending help to implement these activities. Through the collaboration, we help health tech companies to attract more visitors to their websites, generate leads, convert, and make them your happy customers. For more details of our services, visit our website: https://media7.com/
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a health tech marketing strategy?
Health tech marketing strategy is a part of an inbound marketing process for marketing healthcare tech products. It uses resources that can trace various opportunities through lead generation and branding, and overcome threats of healthcare businesses, which is highly competitive.
What is the best health tech marketing technique?
The best health tech marketing technique is to generate leads through various content forms. Health tech Content marketing helps create awareness about the product and attract clients to it. Different forms of content can include blogs, articles, press releases, newsletters, and much more.
Where to start when creating your healthcare marketing strategy
The best way to start when creating your healthcare marketing strategy is to set your goals. This is because the success of your healthcare marketing strategy depends upon the goal you set for yourself when you start the business and the marketing for it.