Healthcare Solutions delivering Indirect, Procurement & Supplier Cost Optimisation
At the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis, the healthcare sector is struggling to breathe new life. No sector has been more directly affected by the Covid-19 than the healthcare sector which had to quickly adjust to the crisis.
Within ERA Healthcare solutions, we are providing support to hospitals and care homes and have experienced first-hand the challenges they were facing and will continue to face in the near future.
Hospitals had to completely restructure their operations to give priority to Covid patients and stop non-essential, sometimes very lucrative, activities. They had to procure protective equipment at very high prices and buy new machines (e.g. breathing equipment). This was combined with lots of overtime work from highly dedicated employees.
Those high activity levels however, did not offset all the losses in non-essential activities nor the additional costs.
Today all activities have resumed, but it is certainly not back to normal. Additional protection measures have to be taken which increase costs, slow down activities and reduce staff numbers.
Hospitals have received support from public authorities, but long-term issues remain and cost reductions that have been left aside during the pandemic will have to be reactivated more actively than ever.
Elderly care homes were also very much impacted due to their residents being most at risk of the virus. As found in our recent survey, their main concerns related to the cost and availability of protective equipment and other types of supply. They were also seriously affected by overtime and loss of residents who passed away due to the pandemic. Care homes also had to deal with the fact that families were not allowed to visit which caused unprecedented problems with residents and their loved ones.
Today the situation is still far from normal and they have to deal with loss of revenues as the loss of residents are not easily replaced.
Both hospitals and elderly care homes have a need for extra cash flow. In our experience with hundreds of customers in the sector, we have demonstrated that ERA has the expertise to help the healthcare sector reduce costs and increase quality. Our original scope was in overhead expenses but now, within the healthcare solutions team, we have experts who have previously worked in the healthcare sector – as a result, we are fully equipped to support our clients’ cost optimization projects in their core business.
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"As demand surges healthcare leaders are having to make tough choices on the priority of resources and expenditure. While rising demands and the increased cost of care may be profitable for some organisations at the moment, the reality is that it is unsustainable."
Healthcare Industry Insights
An ageing population is becoming the new norm throughout communities around the world. Increased life expectancies along with low fertility rates establish themselves as long-term trends, accounting for the shift in population ratios. Health and care providers are required to deliver effective business results under shorter timelines, but this is an impossible task without the right structure and resources in place. No wonder many businesses highlight this point as one of their primary concerns heading into the future.
Resources are limited for health and care systems which contributes to increasing pressure and rates of failure to cater to the demand. Rising need plus staff shortages result in falling time for effective hands-on care. The way your organisation responds to recruitment, retention and nurturing of the right talent will determine how your business fares as the industry develops. In addition the way in which organisations manage their non-staff resources will be increasingly important.
Technological disruptions are both a blessing and a burden. On-theone-hand, many health and care systems currently lack access to performance monitoring information and the real-time data to improve their services. The initial set-up costs and time to pull this vital resource into their organisation may not be possible at the time, but those who fail to collaborate with technology firms or even implement this complex work in-house will be left behind.
Regulatory & Economic Changes
Study findings highlight a global concern in changing regulations on the health and care systems. Rapid changes in both legislation and the economy are driving organisations within the industry to change quickly, but not always in the most efficient ways.