"The way the medical marketplace changes from day to day, we need ways to identify opportunities to get the best prices and sources for items we are buying," says Janet Hinkle, supervisor of Materiel Branch at Fort Carson, Colo. "There aren't enough hours in the day to identify these savings opportunities manually, so having the technology that sheds light on cost savings is extremely valuable."
The JIF program is producing tangible results, according to John Hinson, chief, Logistics Management Service at Veterans Health Administration's Northern California Healthcare System, Sacramento, Calif. "Key to our progress is the identification and application of key data elements that drive efficiencies in the supply chain. VA, DoD and our suppliers are using pre-defined criteria for the standardization of our data, and the databases that feed our systems are being synchronized to establish a common language for the products we use, paving the way for more insightful and accurate spending analyses based on individual items instead of commodities. Synchronized product data allows us to make decisive changes that could have an immediate impact on our bottom line," Hinson says.
Hinson adds that previous spending analysis generally revolved around commodity analysis with multiple classification schemes. He and his colleagues at VA are especially excited about what a foundation of synchronized data means for the future of the healthcare supply chain -- an accurate platform for the implementations of Radio Frequency Identification technologies and the electronic health record. "With synchronized data, the future is bright," Hinson says.
Improving the quality of patient care and eliminating unnecessary
|SOURCE Defense Logistics Agency|
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