Should we be surprised to know hospitals in the U.S. are wasting over $25 billion on unnecessary supply chain spending? Hat tip to John R. Fischer for shedding light on the issues in his article in DotMed’s Healthcare Business News.

Fischer’s article highlights analysis of 2,127 hospitals that found over $25 billion “being spent on unnecessary hospital supply chain spending” — each year! Fischer points out that the over $12 million in “the average annual supply expense reduction opportunity is equivalent to the average annual salaries of 168 registered nurses, 51 primary care physicians or the average cost of 3,100 knee implants.”

Medical device reprocessing is a key supply chain strategy that a majority of U.S. hospitals use to reduce costs. Specifically, when a medical device is reprocessed instead of thrown away, the healthcare institution extends the value of that asset – reducing the per procedure cost of that hospital owned device. By maximizing reprocessing programs, hospitals can reduce the amount of medical device waste and the cost of disposing of that waste. With the savings incurred by reprocessing, hospitals are better able to invest in healthcare, to buy more advanced equipment to serve their patients or to invest in more nurses or nursing education, for example.

Interestingly, Fischer points out that the study “also seeks to relax concerns that lower supply chain spending will equate to lower quality care.” Our healthcare delivery partners know that reducing their supply chain costs by reprocessing does not mean cutting corners. In fact, physicians are able to use the same brands of devices they prefer because reprocessing lowers the per use cost of those devices. Our members are eager to work with hospitals and surgical centers, healthcare professionals and supply chain leaders to maximize the value of existing hospital medical device assets as a way to lower healthcare costs and reduce its environmental impact.

AMDR hopes to work with more hospital executives to underscore, from the top down, the vital role medical device reprocessing plays to promote value in healthcare. And we want to improve reprocessing program performance with supply chain and clinicians to get the best results for patients, healthcare professionals and for healthcare organizations overall.

Thanks to HealthCare Business News and Mr. Fischer for highlighting this issue.