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Supply Chain Management with Cost-Containment & Financial-Sustainability in a Tertiary Care Hospital

JHHSA, Vol. 36 No. 1, (2013)

Financial crunch in the present recession results in the non-availability of the right materials at the right time in large hospitals. However due to insufficient impetus towards systems development, situation remains dismal even when funds are galore. Cost incurred on materials account for approximately one-third of the total recurring expenditures in hospitals. Systems development for effective and efficient materials management is thus tantamount to cost-containment and sustainability. This scientific paper describes an innovative model, Hospital Revolving Fund (HRF), developed at a tertiary care research institute in Asia. The main idea behind inception of HRF was to ensure availability of all supplies in the hospital so that the quality of healthcare delivery was not affected. The model was conceptualized in the background of non-availability of consumables in the hospital leading to patient as well as staff dissatisfaction. Hospital supplies have been divided into two parts, approximately 3250 unit items and 1750 miscellaneous items. This division is based on cost, relative-utility and case-specific utilization. 0.1 Million USD, separated from non-planned budget, was initially used as seed money in 1998. HRF procures supplies from reputed firms on concessional rates (8-25%) and make them available to patients at much lesser rates vis-à-vis market rates, levying minimal maintenance charges. In 2009-10, total annual purchases of 14 Million USD were made. The balance sheet reflected 1.4 Million USD as fixed deposit investment. The minimal maintenance charges levied on the patients along with the interest income were sufficient to pay for all recurring expenses related to HRF. Even after these expenses, HRF boosted of 0.2 Million USD as cash-in-hand in financial year 2009-10. In-depth analysis of ‘balance sheet’ and ‘Income and Expenditure’ statement of the fund for last five financial years affirms that HRF is a self-sustainable and viable supply chain mechanism to ensure availability of the right materials at the right time at a reasonable cost. Thus innovations like HRF will prove robust in rendering quality healthcare at an affordable cost.

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