Written By: Rob Heminger, President, rheminger@spendmend.com

In today’s complex business landscape, large organizations suffer costly operational lapses and significant financial leakage on a daily basis. The matter is particularly challenging in the healthcare industry and persists because hospitals and health systems face three major factors which create a challenging environment for healthcare professionals. 

Our experience at SpendMend has revealed the impact of these three factors are particularly pronounced throughout the P2P cycle where a host of professionals throughout the finance, procurement, sourcing, and supply chain departments are under constant strain.

The three major factors and some of their sub-elements are listed below:

  1. Change:  Hospitals and Healthcare Systems face constant change regarding staff, management, software systems and even all the way down to which locations are in or out of their network in a given year.  It’s never-ending. Common changes include:
    • Hospital Mergers & Acquisitions
    • Upgrading /Changing ERP Systems, EHR’s
    • Restructuring Departments
    • Changing GPO Providers
    • Vendor Mergers
  2. Complexity: Departments tend to function independently and must navigate through a host of competing global rules and local exceptions including:
    • Silo Approach
    • Complex Partners (GPO’s & Vendors)
    • Complex, Non-Integrated Systems
    • Healthcare Regulation
  3. Compliance: In addition to a host of complex and high-stress job tasks, healthcare associates are expected to comply with internal controls and external regulations such as:
    • Return Module Utilization
    • Multiple Approval Points
    • Data Entry Procedures
    • Purchase Order Utilization

When we inspect these three factors and their prevalence in the healthcare industry, in particular, we see quickly that professionals throughout all corners of the P2P cycle are being forced to manage through constantly changing complex environments in an unending pursuit to remain compliant with controls and regulations. As a result, healthcare organizations lose millions of dollars annually due to factors well beyond their control.

Organizations hoping to get a handle on their operational lapses and financial leakage need to consider a three-pronged mindset to ensure that they are addressing each of these issues and creating resolutions to shore up risk and loss.

Have you stopped to think about your own environment and considered the impact of these factors on you company’s productivity?  At minimum you should be opening up water cooler conversations with your co-workers to get their perspectives on the level to which change, complexity, and the pursuit of compliance is impacting your organization.

Any company looking to further diagnose their environment we encourage you to tap into the SpendMend network. We would be happy to put you in touch with our community of clients, partners, and consultants who have deep experience in assessing healthcare environments and helping companies to determine where they may be suffering from common and not-so-common problems.