Looking at today's healthcare industry, one is hard-pressed to find a U.S. hospital or health system that hasn't been involved in a merger or acquisition. As more providers combine facilities or expand their reach, they're facing new challenges – and opportunities – to maximize scale and operate as one efficient business unit or system.
Ultimately, post-merger goals are to attain systemness among the newly created enterprise. But like building a house, to achieve systemness a strong infrastructure/framework to support that operation is essential.
The ability – or lack thereof – of an expanding system to move items efficiently and reliably between facilities can either mean significant cost savings and smooth operations or unforeseen headaches.
When discussing plans to combine service lines and standardize products, integration leaders should also discuss a plan to combine logistics operations to serve the newly-expanded network of facilities. This is what we call intra-company logistics. If, like many systems, you're looking at combining a tangled web of disparate transportation operations, it could be a tough road ahead to maintain quality and ensure a consistent experience for both patients and staff.
Systemness enables organizations to centralize or share services like clinical labs, print shops, mailroom or other operations, with the ultimate goal of creating cost savings and synergies. But centralization is only the first step. How those items are distributed to various facilities is equally as important because the benefits of consolidating those services could be lost if your logistics network is creating additional costs or inefficiencies.
In this new age of industry consolidation, it's more important than ever to think about how materials, supplies and equipment are moved within your organization. Read more about taking systemness to the next level with intra-company logistics.