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It’s an interesting time in the healthcare industry, and for the supply chain specifically. Each of the following market factors is thrusting the supply chain to center stage and calling on all of us to up our game in the face of more complex operations. These factors include:

 

  • The advancement of new technology, from drones and robots to artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers
  • Increasing margin pressure
  • New and changing traceability regulations
  • Numerous mergers and acquisitions


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The recent Becker’s Hospital Review Annual meeting in Chicago was invigorating and thought-provoking, with many presentations from CEOs of many leading healthcare systems. I wanted to share an overview of three breakout sessions that spoke specifically to Healthcare Supply Chain.

 

Can’t Deliver Care Without Stuff: Emerging Strategies for Supply Chain Management was a discussion with Brent Johnson, VP Supply Chain and Chief Procurement Officer at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT. Brent comes from outside the healthcare industry. When he came into healthcare supply chain at Intermountain he was shocked at how, as an industry, healthcare managed its supply chain so casually, because “you know, outside healthcare, supply chain is seen as STRATEGIC to the organizational performance.”


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In my July post, I introduced the ‘Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics’, which is a framework of supply chain metrics conceived by Gartner, the world’s leading information research and advisory company.  The model provides 3 tiers of integrated metrics to assess, diagnose, and correct supply chain performance, and is a great example of what constititutes a supply chain scorecard.

 

 


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Isn’t this the most interesting time in US healthcare? Actually, in healthcare across the globe? Because no matter how your healthcare system is funded, the containment and management of supply chain costs is a constant business reality we are all facing. To that end, supply chain is finally coming into its own in the C-Suite of most organizations. We are realizing, as an industry, that what has worked in the past will no longer work in our emerging reality — on all sides of the business equation. Everyone has to participate in the change.


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IDN Summit, 22 April, Orlando FL
TECSYS-Sponsored a Lunch & Learn program at the recent IDN Summit, “The Transformable Supply Chain” featuring Brent Johnson, Chief Procurement Officer, Intermountain Healthcare; Curtis Dudley, Vice President of Integrated Performance Solutions, Mercy; and Mike Wentling, Chief Solutions Officer, ROi. The discussion focused on the changes in the healthcare supply chain that have driven the development of consolidated service centers/supply chain centers.

 

It was an especially compelling panel as Mercy & ROi established the first self-distribution operation in healthcare 10 years ago and Intermountain just opened their Supply Chain Center last fall. We have seen a lot of industry movement in this decade! Additionally, the perspectives of the panelists was a unique mix – “in from outside” healthcare, always in healthcare and the coming over from the supplier side to the provider side of the equation.


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I recently had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Brandi Greenberg, Managing Director at The Advisory Board and the Healthcare Supplier/Provider Institute in Las Vegas. Brandi presented research findings that are packaged for the C-Suite. I found it very enlightening and wanted to share my notes with you.

 

Please provide comments, or contact me directly with questions!

 

Opening Premise: No matter the legislative, political or legal activities around healthcare and healthcare reform, there are other key market and business factors looming that are dictating the need for change.


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We recently hosted a web event titled Demystifying Demand Planning: WHY and received an interesting question from one of the participants. The question had a much broader reach than Demand Planning and I thought it would be terrific to share it with all of you.

 

The question was, “What are the most important things to do when changing from individual hospital storerooms to a central warehouse servicing multiple locations spread out over 200 miles? We’re considering doing this. Luckily, all are on the same software system and applications right now.”

 

As you no doubt know, there is not a simple answer; this is a significant business undertaking! As I look at it, there are several things you need to be considering, all related, some simultaneous, some sequential. Let’s look at it as components.


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Trust.

 

Hard to gain, easy to lose, and widely discussed in supply chain management in healthcare. Typically, trust is limited, and the lack of it is limiting our ability to work together. So how do we, as supply chain participants, create it? The answer is multifactorial; however, one key component is communication. An easy channel for communication is data and metrics, and heaven knows we have data!

 

A good starting point in building trust is sharing data via demand planning or forecasting. By sharing your anticipated demand of a product or group of products, you become a more active participant in managing the healthcare supply chain. What does this mean?

 


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