An increasing amount of large hospitals and health systems will save money and increase their efficiency by introducing advanced IT automation.

Rachel Hall, executive director of Ernst & Young’s Health Care Advisory Practice, has predicted that IT automation will soon become “the norm”, as “it’s critical to helping control unneeded, extraneous spending in healthcare,” healthcarefinancenews.com reports.

While Hall notes that automating orders for standard supplies – such as gloves and gauze – is already common practice, she argues that large healthcare establishments who invest in sophisticated IT automation systems will see a significant imp act on their total spend, as advanced software ensures compliance with the item master and contracted rates.

As well as savings, supply chains advanced by IT automation can also provide “more transparency of key performance indicators and pulse points”, forbes.com notes.

Despite these benefits, introducing sophisticated supply chain IT automation is not always practical for smaller health establishments. Nick Fabrizio, principal at MGMA Healthcare Consulting Group, has said that it’s the larger establishments who will benefit from greater savings as they are offered larger discounts.

Rachel Hall added: “The investment consideration should not be ‘if’ the investment is necessary, but how much savings can be achieved by hospitals once automation is achieved.”

Author: Jack Stanton