Mobile Procurement and the Streamlined Purchasing of Hospital Supplies

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Ivy Montgomery of Vroozi. This is an ongoing series of posts providing real-life use cases of mobile procurement.

The benefits of adopting a mobile procurement strategy extend far beyond the walls of the procurement department. Indeed, the real value of mobility in the procurement process is that it enables all employees to do their jobs in the most efficient way possible – including CPOs, purchasing managers, and yes, even nurses.

Meet Sam, a nurse practitioner for a major metropolitan hospital. Like all those in his field, Sam works long and hectic hours taking care of roughly 20 patients a day. While procuring goods wasn’t in his job description, he is nevertheless responsible for ensuring that his department has the tools it needs to properly take care of its patients. The list of medical supplies is an exhaustive one, which is why this task is a time-consuming burden to most nurses in Sam’s position.

However, unlike most in his field, Sam is able to use a mobile procurement solution to address this problem. In doing so, he is able to spend the bulk of his time on what matters most: seeing patients.

In the past, if the hospital room ran out of supplies, nurses like Sam would have had to visit the storage room unit with the hopes that it was well-stocked. If he found the items he was looking for, the process would take about 15 minutes. If not, then he would spend nearly 30 minutes (or the equivalent of one patient visit) filling out order forms and talking with hospital administrators.

Now, thanks to their mobile procurement platform, Sam and his colleagues are all able to streamline this process. Equipped with a tablet, they are able to quickly enter and locate items, checking their availability against current inventory. When the inventory runs low – something that happens often at every hospital, not just the big ones – it would trigger a purchase request notification to the purchasing department, who would then submit an order (or auto-order) to the distributor. This means more time for Sam, better care for the patient, and a more efficient procurement process for the entire hospital.

Mobile devices are becoming essential in the day-to-day operations of hospital staff. They are now used to monitor and track patient records and statuses. Mobile procurement can help ensure that patients never have to wait for critical items.

As mentioned at the outset, the benefits of mobile procurement extend to an entire organization. Many traditional procurement tools are geared towards the higher-ups (executives, purchasing managers, etc.). While they tend to provide sufficient data and insights, they often make life more difficult for the rank-and-file employees, the ones whose jobs rely on the goods purchased by the organization.

Mobile procurement eliminates this disconnect by establishing a direct line of communication between employees and the procurement department. It offers the functionality needed by those on the front lines, as well as the insights and data needed by the department’s leaders.

As businesses move faster, the procurement process must not only keep pace, but rather lead the organization towards achieving even greater flexibility and speed. This is just one of many examples for how mobile procurement is turning this ideal into a reality.

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