Systemness is something that many strive for but is not easy to achieve. Benefiting from scale and acting as one, integrated system doesn't come just through growth. It takes work. Just like building a house, to be truly successful, it all really needs to start with a strong infrastructure and foundation. In this case, the infrastructure is a leveragable logistical framework that enables the clinical layer to function most efficiently and effectively.
Intra-Company Logistics: The Missing Link to Systemness, Higher Quality Care
How leveraging intra-company logistics delivers better results for complex healthcare organizations
JC: Intra-company logistics is a thoughtfully-designed, customized and planned solution for physically integrating and connecting healthcare organizations through the strategic, intra-company delivery of physical materials. These materials include patient- and business-critical items such as blood and other specimens, pharmaceuticals, supplies, equipment, print, mail and more. By consolidating the movements of the variety of items into one entity, intra-company logistics creates a single, streamlined, customized system.
Combined with advanced technology, sophisticated intracompany logistics:
- drives standardization
- centralizes and streamlines operations
- eliminates fragmentation and redundancies
- limits risk and liabilities
- reduces down-time
- even reduces overall energy use
JC: Healthcare organizations are growing and care continues to expand outside of the four walls of the hospital. This growth provides more capacity to utilize scale to create healthcare organizations that function better and smarter.
Intra-company logistics plays a key role in helping healthcare organizations achieve systemness, which has been described as “the desired future state of complex healthcare delivery systems — delivering patient-focused, seamless and high-quality care across the many parts of the system to maximize value for customers.”
Ultimately, intra-company logistics is the logistical layer that enables the clinical layer to function most efficiently and effectively. This logistical layer is the foundation of the healthcare supply chain and every health system needs it for its clinical operations to function.
JC: Strategic value requires moving the needle on quality, improving performance and enhancing customer experience. Intra-company logistics transforms transportation from a cost center into a strategic asset. This allows for the reassignment of the same dollars (and often less due to streamlined routes) to a new, better-designed, systematic transportation operation. The result: Leveraging transportation to generate returns of 10 to 50 percent of spend.
Incorporating best-in-class intra-company logistics can also reduce errors to 50 to 75 per million (PPM) encounters, compared to an industry average of 1,000 PPM. This dramatically reduces associated error-recovery costs. It also reduces stress on those responsible for making sure that operations run smoothly and patients get needed care.
Research shows that healthcare companies tend to overlook the organizational advantages gained through the strategic deployment of items throughout their systems, and instead manage them on a departmental level with a transactional, commodity mindset. This often leads to fragmentation, redundancies and added costs.
Meaningful ROI is a measure of value compared to total cost of ownership. The lesson is simple: When health companies get transportation right, they save time and money while improving performance and value.
JC: Yes, there are. Our best practice logistical framework is
based upon a process model that includes:
- An ISO-certified corporate quality program, underscored by Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, to monitor and measure the quality of operations.
- A healthcare-focused technology platform that ensures route optimization, chain of custody and data maximization for improved visibility and smarter decision-making.
- A two-fold philosophy for value creation that includes value achieved directly from transportation operations, plus value created by using transportation as an asset to drive savings on the 99.9+% of expenditures outside of transportation but still impacted by it.