In the next five years, Cardinal Health expects that data, collaboration and strategic planning will only become more essential to bridge the gap between clinical excellence and operational efficiency.
Data helps different stakeholders find common ground around organizational objectives. "Good data systems are number one. If a healthcare organization doesn't have good data and systems to understand their usage patterns and clinical metrics, they will be very challenged as they try to improve in those areas," Rajalingam said. One way Cardinal Health can help is through the WaveMark inventory management platform, which provides visibility into data while also helping to collect and generate data that drives insights.
Collaboration with top suppliers, vendors and business partners is also critical for hospitals. Cardinal Health works with many health systems at a strategic level to create three-to five-year roadmaps to help achieve operational efficiency. These roadmaps assess potential areas for growth, possible changes to the patient population and operational targets necessary to achieve cost savings.
"Once you have a strategy, you must prioritize and put together a tactical plan," Brown said. "In pharmacy, for example, it's all around which medications to use and their costs. Another consideration is how to redeploy staff to expand patient care. An area that's often overlooked is continuous compliance."