GHX Blog

Responding to an Increasingly Complex Healthcare Supply Chain

13 March 2023

Responding to an Increasingly Complex Healthcare Supply ChainValue-based healthcare, video consultations and virtual wards - the healthcare industry is undergoing radical change as part of its digital transformation. Suppliers must keep up with their customers’ needs, provide digital experiences, increase automation and standardise their supply chain processes.



There is more complexity coming to the healthcare supply chain. This will require support for value-based healthcare and preparing for the continued rise in healthcare delivery outside the traditional hospital care setting.

Precision, accuracy and timing for supply delivery will continue to grow in importance. Establishing a foundation that will support your customers’ needs today and for quickly emerging trends is the critical third step in making it easier for healthcare providers to conduct business with you.


Laying the Foundation for the Future


Suppliers can play a critical role as providers strive to deliver value-based healthcare, which requires a complete understanding of the true cost of care delivery. This includes product costs and knowing which products deliver the best outcome and work best for which patients.

As today’s supply chain professionals shift to digital experiences, increasing automation and standardisation of supply chain processes, they have visibility into the true cost of providing patient care, including how variation can affect quality.


Patients and Providers Seek Healthcare Outside the Hospital


Delivering a digital customer experience in the healthcare supply chain is no longer an option; it’s imperative. The urgency around it will only increase as patients and providers seek healthcare outside the hospital.

Patients, in fact, have come to expect it. Video consultations went mainstream during the pandemic, and today, around 40 percent of surveyed consumers expect to continue using video consultations—up from 11 percent of video consultation users before COVID-19, according to McKinsey.


Virtual Wards on the Rise


Virtual wards are poised to take off as more healthcare is delivered outside the traditional hospital care setting. Along with COVID-19 being a key accelerator, the heightened focus on supply chain management, significant advances in remote monitoring technology, and increased government and payor interests make this model more accessible.

According to Forrester analysts1, the number of hospitals that deliver care at home will triple this year. This makes sense, given that virtual wards have been shown to improve medical outcomes, lower costs, and help alleviate healthcare providers’ rising financial pressures.


Adapt Processes for Greater Customer Alignment


As more healthcare providers offer virtual wards, the supply chain complexity around products and people will increase. Suppliers will need to work closely with providers to help ensure the effective logistical coordination of materials and supplies to patient homes.

It will no longer be about getting supplies to stock rooms but packaging and delivering all supplies necessary for a care pathway. Suppliers who understand and complement this process will be those with the greatest customer alignment.

Leveraging automation, data and insights, and new technology capabilities can allow suppliers to create new services and products specifically designed to support the virtual ward trend.



The ultimate digital customer experience will become one that connects the patient through the digital front door and into a resilient, responsive supply chain. To deliver on this vision, suppliers must keep pace with today’s digital transformation initiatives and the change they are accelerating in the healthcare supply chain.

By taking the first steps now, suppliers can lead instead of reacting to the sweeping changes currently reshaping the industry.

1Predictions 2022: Healthcare, Forrester

[Originally published on May 02, 2022 in Medical Product Outsourcing Magazine]

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