Supply chain management must adapt to changing healthcare landscape

A "just in case" approach to supply chain management no longer meets hospitals' needs In the U.S. and across the globe, according to Supply Management.

Andy Slinn, supply chain and logistics manager at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, told the Government Opportunities NHS Procurement Conference in Birmingham, UK, that his organization carries "two to four weeks of critical stock" and focuses on efficient distribution and delivery.

"Just in time replaced just in case, which doesn't cut it anymore," he said, according to the article. "We are all about challenging how we get the product where it needs to be."

For example, Slinn said, his hospital uses separate elevators for staff and patients, which speeds up the care process and minimizes disruption. The hospital also coordinates ward deliveries, he said. "We have minimized the impact," he said, according to the article. "As we take new clean materials in, we take out the waste and the dirty linen."

New supply chain strategies are also taking hold in the United States. Late last month, Leigh Anderson, chief operating officer of informatics & technology services at Premier Healthcare Alliance, called on healthcare providers to use advanced information technology to optimize supply chain management, according to Healthcare Finance News.

"Health IT and supply chain come together around revenue cycle," Anderson told HIMSS 2014, according to the article.

Supply chain management also plays an increasingly larger role in the mergers & acquisitions process, Simon Gisby, managing director and head of the healthcare practice at Deloitte's Corporate Finance business, told MedCityNews. To leverage their infrastructure and lower costs, Gisby said, many of his clients outsource services like supply chain management.

"They're looking to outsource certain services only to an organization that manages them on a broad scale, because those companies have the infrastructure to be able to reduce costs," he told the publication.

To learn more:
- read the Supply Management article
- here's the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the MedCityNews article