Healthcare providers are playing a dangerous game with medical supplies.
If you play your cards right, you provide excellent care to your community and stay afloat financially indefinitely. Except that the deck is stacked against you.
(Guess who is about to talk about inventory expiration. If you’re guessing this article, that’s a bingo. But we’re not just talking about the problem this time. We’ve got a solution. Get a clue by clicking on the orange box below.)
What’s On The Tabletop
Let’s take a look at the classic rulebook.
You start with a full house of medical and surgical supplies, which feels great, because as you go through all the important tasks that maintain healthy patients and healthy operating margins, you’ve got all the resources you need.
Except for one thing: you’re racing the clock. As soon as those medical supplies expire, they go into the discard pile. Daily tasks like sourcing supplies and delivering care have a monopoly on providers’ time, so you and your inventory checkers are probably not paying attention to the timer.
Mistakes in the healthcare supply chain is a taboo subject, but remember: this is not your fault! You’re just playing by the rules as written. But it does mean that hospitals have to scrabble to make up the cost of expired supplies elsewhere.
Player VS Payer
This is no trivial pursuit. Around 20% of the medical supplies healthcare providers buy will go into the dumpster before they can be used. That adds up to $5 billion wasted across U.S. providers every year.
Like it or not, there are no passive observers. You agreed to join the medical supply expiration avoidance game when you pulled up a chair at the healthcare supply chain table.
Waiting till the timer runs out doesn’t just cost the provider. If providing care gets more expensive, ultimately that money comes out of the community chest. It’s the patients who pay up when they visit your space, either because the cost of care has gone up, or because the quality of care has to go down to maintain affordability.
Neither outcome is ideal or fun. Which is another way of saying: no matter who wins, we all lose. So is there another, better way to play?
(Yes, obviously. Time to put all our cards on the table.)
A Co-Op Game
Imagine a world where hospitals aren’t competing against their patients, their payers, or even each other. You can collaborate with all the above for a better outcome. You can move supplies between your facilities according to need. You can sell the supplies you don’t need to other providers who do need them. You can donate extra supplies to in-need communities you would never otherwise be able to reach.
And you can get started by using our new expiration risk analysis. Get a detailed list of everything that’s likely to expire before use and recommendations that will maximize the savings you can get out of them. All for free.
What we’re trying to get across the finish line is: expiration doesn’t have to be the cost of doing business. You don’t have to build this loss into your budget. You don’t have to accept the rules as written. Saying: “That’s life!” isn’t a solution. Saying: “I’ll never achieve perfection, so I shouldn’t try!” isn’t a solution.
Don’t wait for expiration to make you sorry. Get yourself out of trouble with the tools that Z5 Inventory has developed, because we didn’t build a better mousetrap. We built the only mousetrap. (Throwing expired supplies away isn’t a mousetrap; it’s just a trap.)
Sign up for a no-cost, no-obligation analysis of your inventory. And while you’re waiting for your custom results that identifies down to the shelf what’s at risk of expiring, you can start making plans based on our expiration risk estimator tool.
Give your supplies a Get Out Of The Dumpster Free card.