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    Reading to Think: Concepts in Healthcare Supply Chain Management

    Posted by: Nancy Pakieser | November 1, 2012

    Concepts in Healthcare Supply Chain Management

    I would like to share some reading I have been doing that is providing a lot of food for thought.

    The first source is the book “Healthcare Will Not Reform Itself” by George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente. What a compelling read! Mr. Halvorson walks us through many scenarios, while breaking things down to accessible portions. One (of the many) premises that provoke pondering is around the misalignment of financial goals in our healthcare (non)system. As it is structured today, it does not support reform as we generally talk about it. If the focus is to decrease costs by promoting healthier lifestyles or preventive programs, a projected result would be decreased admissions to acute care facilities. However, this approach would, very likely, drain revenue to the IDNs…which diminishes the ability of the IDN to serve the community or even survive. An incredibly complex conundrum. This challenge reinforces the focus on tight operational expense control, of which supply chain is a significant factor. But overall it emphasizes the ongoing need for innovative thought and change management.

    This brings me to the next item that I read in Fierce Health Finance, “Hospital CFOs Get More Involved in Operations“. The article highlights how CFOs have to find creative ways to make ends meet. However, in order to do that, they must implement change. The article, like many of our provider partners, said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it.” A key step in measuring your supply chain asset is achieving complete visibility. Starting at what is received from a manufacturer through to the point of use and patient billing, you can transform your supply chain and enhance operational performance.

    But transformation oftentimes means there is a game-changer. The final item was an article in Forbes, “6 Steps for Creating a Game Changer“. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate concept for healthcare at this point in time! Just about everything we are working on across the entire industry touches on game-changing – processes, care delivery, supply chain management, outcomes measurements, etc. The article says that to identify the game-changers you need to “focus efforts on shattering the status quo.” The article went on to say that “you can’t experience sustainable improvement without transformation.” Is the status quo in your organization hindering new approaches or program implementation?

    I hope you enjoy reading these materials as much as I did! Here’s to the ongoing journey and the new paths we are forging while staying focused on good health and better care for everyone!

    Healthcare Will Not Reform Itself, G. Halvorson, Pub Taylor & Francis, ISBN-13: 9781439816141 Hospital CFOs Get More Involved in Operations 6 Steps for Creating a Game Changer

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