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    Take Control of Your Hospital Receiving Dock with Tecsys Elite™ Healthcare Technology

    Posted by: Glenn Spriggs | August 23, 2022


    Hospital Receiving

    A supply chain team’s responsibility for most items begins at the hospital’s receiving dock. It’s an area often overlooked for operational improvements; therefore, you’re likely to find highly manual, overly complex processes that are at significant risk for human error.

    Now that labor shortages are rising along with wages, it’s time to streamline hospital receiving through a single, automated solution that is integrated with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. At the same time, capture the data you need to make smart supply choices, comply with regulations and protect patient safety.

    Let’s look at the challenges in hospital receiving today and how a single solution can fix them.

    Find the Weakest Link in Your Supply Chain

    Your hospital receiving team is tasked with managing an extremely wide range of items — from run-of-the-mill supplies delivered by your primary distributor to time- and temperature-sensitive drugs and biologics. Even contracts for legal review and parcels addressed to individuals that work on campus show up at the dock and must be routed to the right place at the right time.

    Your hospital likely has multiple systems for documenting receipt of whatever crosses the dock… and it’s not always clear what item goes into what system. Just picture receiving staff with scanning devices for each of these systems on their belts — it’s complex and confusing.

    With general medical/surgical products that are contained within the ERP system, it’s typically clear which system to use and the ERP performs a three-way match of the received item, purchase order (PO) and invoice.

    It’s the items that fall outside the ERP system that cause the most confusion and complexity.

    Take, for instance, controlled substances. Pharmacy inventory requires integrated track and trace capabilities due to increased traceability regulations. Without a way to record its path, the hospital receiving team bears the burden of ensuring pharmaceuticals are routed to the central pharmacy without the risk of diversion.

    Another example is human tissue which the Joint Commission requires be tracked for handling compliance reasons. When tissue shows up on the dock, how and where does the receiving team document its arrival? Is the packaging intact or damaged? Under which conditions was it stored before reaching the procedure room?

    The Risks and Costs of Expired and Recalled Items 

    Many of the items that cross the receiving dock must be controlled by lot and serial numbers, and expiration date, which the hospital must track from receipt through point of use (POU).

    Research has found only 50% of hospitals can identify and manage expired supplies through their current systems. Since ERP systems typically do not track expiry dates, the hospital runs the risk of accepting products that will expire before they are able to be used. The fallout is two-fold: wasted money on unusable supplies and the potential for expired items to be used on patients.

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    A Single Solution to Solve It All

    Replace disparate hospital receiving systems with a single application that can record and manage all deliveries within the hospital network through a single point of entry. One system, one scan and the required data for all categories of products is captured for documentation to support downstream processes.

    The receiving application as an integrated component of your supply chain management (SCM) platform complements the ERP system by collecting data critical to supply chain operational performance and safety beyond what is contained in the item master.

    The Tecsys hospital receiving application features include:

    • Procure-to-pay: Seamless integration with your ERP system means you can still perform the three-way match of the received item, PO and invoice to trigger supplier payment for items contained within your item master.
    • From dock to doc: You can track the full lifecycle of any item that enters your doors (“dock”), how it was stored, where and when it was moved, and when it was used by clinicians (“doc”), down to the specific lot and serial number, providing a full audit trail for Joint Commission compliance.
    • Track and trace: Smart controls to facilitate data capture for specific products and use cases, including unique device identifiers (UDI) for implants and other FDA Class 3 devices.
    • Proactive alerts: If a user scans an item at receipt with an expiry date outside of what is acceptable to the hospital or an item that has been recalled, they are alerted to the issue and can take steps to refuse the delivery to avoid waste and protect patient safety.
    • Trusted receiving: The receiving application can be programmed to let users know when the shipment is from a “trusted supplier,” so receiving can bypass the time-consuming and labor-intensive auditing process upon arrival at the dock.

    Get the Missing Piece of Your Supply Chain Puzzle

    Faced with stricter supply tracking requirements and pressures to control costs and waste at a time when labor is scarce and expensive, hospitals are looking for new opportunities to simplify and automate operations, while gaining access to insights to drive continuous improvement.

    Hospital receiving may seem like a small piece of your huge supply chain puzzle, but it’s an important one when it comes to your hospital’s operational, clinical and financial performance.

    Clear up the confusion at your dock and streamline the hospital receiving process by providing your team with a single, comprehensive solution for documentation, data capture and enterprise-wide supply visibility.

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