When it comes to hospital supplies, it is essential to ensure that the basics are provided for. Surgical gloves, hypodermic needles, ethyl alcohol, suture thread and many other items are indispensable for the daily care of patients.
It is also necessary to guarantee the supply of items used in less frequent, but more specific, procedures. This is the case, for example, of intubation equipment, or even orthoses, prostheses and special materials (OPSMs).
If the lack of these appliances can be a problem, excess may also pose challenges.
When there is no strict correspondence between the quantity of items purchased and the ones used, the hospital will need to mobilize a structure to store all supplies that would be larger than the one the unit would ordinarily demand. The impacts of this situation are:
- Makes managing the space and finding the materials more complex;
- Adds costs to operations, especially when purchased items require special storage;
- Increases the risk of the item becoming unusable due to loss of shelf life;
Finding the balance between these two extremes involves an efficient administration of supply contracts in Healthcare.
CLM: the benefits of contract management in Healthcare
Contract Lifecycle Management, or CLM, is a set of management practices that promotes an integrated perspective of the document’s pathway, from requesting to management and fulfillment.
You can see a full explanation of this approach in our previous text CLM: what is it and how can technology benefit your company.
When coupled with technology, as is in the case of CLM softwares such as netLex, this method makes contract management simpler and safer. Three main possibilities derive from this:
- Monitor the fulfillment of contractual obligations
- Map legal and financial risks
- Integrate data for analysis
Understand more about each of these topics in the sections below:
1. Monitor the fulfillment of contractual obligations
It’s not enough merely to negotiate and revise the obligations as they are set in the contract’s draft. It’s essential to ensure that all elements agreed upon are duly fulfilled. On that relies the entirety of a hospital’s financial planning and, in truth, the quality of the service ultimately provided to patients.
Hence, some of the most critical aspects for supplier contract management are:
- Following resupplying deadlines;
- Checking quality standards for the supplied items;
- Receiving and following clear instructions regarding proper storage conditions;
In the specific case of Turn Key agreements, in which the party is bound not only to the main service, but also to ancillary obligations, it is important to monitor the full compliance with everything that was agreed upon.
So, if the main object of a contract is the rental of a MRI machine, for example, it is necessary to verify if the supplier is also delivering the contrast injection pump, anesthesia and physiological monitoring device, voltage stabilizer, helium coolant and others.
A good contract management software, as is netLex, allows the creation of notifications to monitor deadlines and displays all the relevant information in an intuitive and simplified dashboard.
Thus, it is not necessary to directly refer to the contract or to access manually filled out spreadsheets to identify these details. All of them are compiled on the platform, visible to the employees responsible for monitoring compliance with the agreed terms.
2. Map legal and financial risks
When it comes to risk mapping and managing, it is important to highlight three points:
- Defining rules for liability in the case of harm arising from the delay or non-delivery of the acquired supplies. These clauses are important to structure strategies in civil lawsuits, for example;
- Adjustment clauses and their respective triggers, to maintain contractual equilibrium and the fair value of the items agreed upon;
- Fines and other contractual penalties, of which the Finance area must be made aware;
As was the case in the previous topic, within netLex’s CLM platform all these details are made available in a simplified dashboard, extracting relevant data directly from the contract. Again, there is no need to recover the original document, reducing time spent in analysis and ensuring the reliability of the information visualized.
3. Integrate data for analysis
A coherent management is the one that makes decisions based on information pulled out directly from the actual operations. There are at least two kinds of data that can be extracted from supplier contracts and offer valuable insights for the manager:
- Number of items acquired and received: together with number of materials actually used, this detail helps the buy side of the medical facility to organize its buying strategies;
- Supplier performance evaluation: gathering data regarding the quality of deliveries allows that, in future transactions, only the best commercial partners are considered;
As one of the main sources of information is the contract itself, these analyses can easily be conducted within the platform or through integrations with other softwares. These are some of the ways to achieve a balance between supply and demand, ensuring the best possible treatment for patients and the optimization of the use of resources by the unit.
The best of technology also for contract management
The medical sector is a center of technological development. Scientists around the world are dedicating to the research and development of least invasive solutions, at the lowest possible cost to the patient all the while attaining the best results. Their goal is to promote healthcare.
A hospital, however, also needs to invest in management and efficient workflows to optimize expenditure and to ensure all necessary supplies are readily available.
netLex, as a contract management software, offers a digital solution to hospitals and other medical facilities that seek to combine excellent service to patients and efficient business partnerships.
To learn more about these and many other benefits netLex can provide for your organization, talk to our specialists!