Why secure, on-time workplace supplies are essential to healthcare organisations

 

With the biggest shake up of data security for years on the horizon and the call for efficiencies growing ever stronger in healthcare, procuring workplace supplies is far more than a question of cost.

Workplace supplies, whether these are cleaning products, stationery, office furniture or technology, can be the unsung heroes in the smooth running of any healthcare organisation.

Matched with efficient, responsive service and a focus on security, they can make all the difference to how any GP practice, hospital, walk in centre, pharmacy or clinic is run.

These are the two critical questions that every procurement professional should be asking of its workplace supplies provider:

How do I optimise security?

Security should be one of the first discussions any healthcare organisations has, particularly in terms of technology, printing and digital and hard copy storage products and services.

Healthcare is well down the road in its adoption of digital technologies, realising the many opportunities it presents for improving patient care, increasing efficiencies and record-keeping.

Data protection is a major priority and the arrival of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) from 25 May 2018 onwards brings even greater implications. Approved by the EU Parliament in 2016, the GDPR framework is the most important change to data privacy regulation in 20 years, replacing the 1995 Data Protection Directive and giving citizens more power over their personal data.

Affecting organisations across the globe that store EU citizens’ data, GDPR has been developed by the EU to bring data into line with the many ways it is now being used. Non-compliance or data breaches will see fines of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of an organisation’s global annual turnover, whichever is the greater.

Hospitals have a range of factors to consider when they’re looking at the options for healthcare data storage. The type of information being stored will affect this, whether it’s images, patient data or critical hospital information, because this can determine which storage method will be most suitable.

Speaking to your workplace supplies provider is the first step in ensuring you’re procuring the right products in every area. From hardware encrypted storage solutions that safeguard data with high strength, military grade security features, to solid security state drives, ensuring your data is fully protected is essential, not just to ensure public and patient confidence but for protecting your organisation’s finances.

Will the right products arrive, at the right time?

Consider the possibilities if your workplace supplies don’t arrive on time. A toner running out with no replacement to hand, a stock of paper gone, or no secure storage device in the office could see departments unable to send out letters to patients, appointments and procedures potentially delayed or cancelled, or possibly a less secure storage device used because the right one isn’t available.

Workplace supplies should be purchased on a similar basis to clinical supplies. Once you have specified the supplies you need, calculating the right quantities is essential. Procurement professionals need to ensure just the right amounts are in stock, because ordering too little will result in shortages and a healthcare provider being less effective in its administering and care of patients.

On the other hand, overstocking can mean un-necessary stock liabilities and the risk of products being damaged if left unused for too long. Working out where you need to order a limited quantity of extra stocks is a balancing act, but one that matters when patient care and efficiencies are all-important.

Working with your workplace supplies provider to ensure that deliveries are always on time, accurate and the service is fully responsive to your changing circumstances, is key.

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