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Medical Supply Procurement & Supply Chain Issues Affecting the Healthcare Industry

Procuring healthcare equipment and medical supplies in bulk for various medical offices, surgical centers, hospitals, dentistry clinics, to nursing homes and even veterinary clinics can often be a daunting task for smaller healthcare practitioners or their procurement teams. Although procuring high quality medical supplies at low costs with timely delivery is necessary, the medical supply marketplace has been broken for many years and even more so today.

There are several common medical procurement issues that have caused significant challenges for healthcare industries. As a result of many issues plaguing the industry, there has been a rise in new technology focused healthcare startups too, which have created and now offer and old & outdated healthcare industry with new, more progressive and rewarding solutions for these healthcare providers by providing more transparent, efficient, technology-based healthcare procurement systems for supply teams. The most common medical procurement issues that are being addressed are listed below.

Supply Shortages

It has been increasingly more common for healthcare supplies, including basic medical supplies such as disposable surgical masks to have supply shortages, especially over the past couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply shortages tend to force healthcare organizations such as hospitals, dental offices, and medical offices to have to purchase supplies at far higher prices or opt for at sometimes lesser quality alternatives. Some healthcare organizations attempt to prevent supply shortages by stocking up on products far in advance. However, this can also be problematic since certain products may expire before they’re able to be used in practice, not to mention the additional storage costs that are required for stock too.

This can often happen for several of the more popular and in high-demand medical supplies like disposable gloves (nitrile, latex, vinyl), surgical masks and PPE masks (N95, K95 respirators), to catheters, syringes & hypodermic needles, isolation gowns, IV sets, gauze pads, air purifiers, and PAPRs, along with instrument trays, and more.

Antiquated Technology

Many medical supply chains rely on old ordering systems that still depend on fax and the manual ordering of supplies. The lack of digital payment options also makes the process more difficult than it should be. The poor inventory tracking, and supply management systems tend to be old and outdated. Medical supplies companies that use outdated technology tend to cause organizations to purchase inefficient supplies and make errors in ordering. Using ecommerce platforms like Bttn makes the medical supply procurement process far more efficient and effective while significantly reducing errors.

Hidden Costs & Fees

Oftentimes, there are many hidden fees and costs for procuring wholesale medical supplies that purchasing teams aren’t always aware of when going into contracts with suppliers. This creates a misleading purchasing price and can cause healthcare organizations to undercut their medical supplies budget. When organizations over-purchase supplies, the excess supplies that expire also cause the cost efficiency to decrease.

Bulk Order Minimums

When many smaller medical health organizations look to purchase medical supplies, there are often far fewer choices. This is due to the bulk order minimums that force healthcare organizations to purchase a certain amount. This issue can really hamper the smaller practices that need to come up with more funds to purchase supplies that they may not need in such high quantities too.

How Healthcare Startups are Fixing These Issues

One up & comer is the Seattle-based healthcare technology startup Bttn who works diligently with small to large hospitals, health, hospital & dental associations, medical offices, and dentistry clinics to nursing homes throughout the United States to fix the most common issues of the medical supply chains by creating a technologically advanced platform that is customer oriented.

For example, they can guarantee a constant stock of medical supplies. Many medical supplies distributors have allowed healthcare organizations to place large orders for supplies that are not even in stock. Instead, they can offer real-time catalog updates so customers have a good idea of what they can purchase in real-time – no guessing or waiting for supplies to arrive months after they’ve ordered them. This lets the buyers know exactly what items are available and ready to be purchased.

By combining the best technology with their ecommerce platform to provide top-notch medical supply distribution to their many hundreds of customers throughout the United States. The advanced payment options available on the ecommerce platform include built-in invoicing capabilities that give everyone the option for net 30/60 terms. Healthcare organizations can also automate their favorite orders by subscribing to their most common purchases.

When it comes to transparency, providing the actual estimated price, including shipping, to help healthcare facilities better organize their inventory. In addition to this, order tracking and big data insights are also crucial for providing transparency for the healthcare community in whole.

Bttn provides bulk orders of all sizes to ensure all healthcare facilities can get the supplies they need. Unfortunately, this prevents only the most prominent players from having their pick of the supplies. If your hospital, medical or dental practice needs high-quality medical supplies form only top tier suppliers and wants to save 20-40% on orders, then you should consider using Bttn today for procuring your medical supplies now and in the future. Especially with many challenges currently presenting themselves in the world with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, geo-political issues between Russia, Ukraine, and neighboring European countries, to the closings of major ports or serious shipping delays in the US and around the world.

The healthcare industry needs to embrace better technology and digital solutions that utilize big data to help everyone involved in the medical supply procurement process make the most informed decisions possible. Not just to save money on the supply bills, but to ensure your hospital or clinic is stocked in the event of a massive insurgence of new patients that may overload your units and create a significant drain on your medical supply inventory.

Planning for the short-term and long-term needs of your patients, potential supply chain issues, and more can make or break your business and reputation in your community. As always, it’s best to plan and prepare, rather than not having a plan and fail.

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