How a Software Solution Can Help Automate the Bill-Only Item Process in Hospitals

The healthcare supply chain has come a long way over the past few decades. For most hospitals, the supply chain included mainly manual processes for obtaining resources, managing supplies, and delivering goods and services to providers and patients. Because there are thousands of products and services that go through a hospital’s supply chain, along with an array of stakeholders, technology is needed to close the data gap in hospitals. Pen and paper are on their way out as technology in supply chain management has evolved, and the industry is continuing to see considerable changes.

Even in the age of streamlined solutions, the process for bill-only / same-day items has maintained a dependence on paper forms and manual processes to get things done. It begins with a vendor rep typically filling out a document or paper form for a requisition of a product that is a bill-only product. Someone at the hospital must receive the form, then manually examine it to see if that exact product was used in a specific case, and then verify if the right price with the right discount was applied to it. For many hospitals, the purchasing of bill-only products can be a time consuming and difficult process. Due to the lack of a proper software solution to automate such a process, most providers rely on paper forms and manual research to get them approved and purchased.

Hospitals that rely on manual processes for bill-only item management are prone to a lot of error and fraud. Vendors can get supplies and implants into the OR/procedure rooms that have not been properly approved by hospital administration, which can go against hospital policy. In some cases, due to poor documentation, bill-only items often are not put on the patient medical record and are often not billed to the patient resulting in a loss to the hospital. Also, data and reporting on the use of bill-only items is very poor if it exists at all. All these problems create frustration for the hospital administration, department leaders, supply chain, finance and accounting.

Mobile Aspects has designed a solution that addresses the unique challenges of bill-only items – one that eliminates paper forms, provides visibility to the process and uses advance technology to automate manual tasks. If your hospital is seeing billing and ordering issues related to same-day / bill-only items, there is software available to help improve the traceability of these often-problematic items. iRISupply’s  implant and supply tracking software includes a feature to track bill-only items to make the documentation process more transparent. With this feature, it’s easier to document supplies at the point of use. If a supply is brought in from a vendor, it can be marked as used from an interface on the iRISupply cabinet or console. An additional module on the Web will allow users to manage bill-only/same-day items so they are approved using the proper workflow. With these features available, hospitals are able to ease the documentation headache created by bill-only items and focus on patient care where their attention is most needed.

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