The Healthcare Hub

The Top Five Ways the Healthcare Supply Chain is Improving Patient Care Today (Pt. 1)

  • Vice President of North American Sales and Marketing Scott Kelley, Vice President of North American Sales and Marketing
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

As I noted in my Monday blog post, this week is AHRMM’s National Healthcare Supply Chain Week. To honor this annual event, my team at GHX compiled the five biggest ways that healthcare organizations are leveraging their supply chains to improve patient outcomes on a daily basis. We are not exaggerating when we describe these projects as “revolutionary” for the healthcare industry. Rather than “talking the talk,” these organizations are “walking the walk” to create a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare system. Today I’m going to share the first three ways we see our customers doing just that:

The Data Goldmine: Analyzing and Leveraging Outcomes Data
Many healthcare organizations have realized the full potential of supply chain data by analyzing and acting on outcomes data. In fact, supply chain data is referred to as a “goldmine” by many industry insiders! Why is that? Rather than analyzing data to merely determine the best price, organizations are evaluating supply chain data to identify the products and practices that ensure the best patient outcomes. Instead of the healthcare supply chain being all about dollars and cents, today it is instrumental in making better patient-care decisions – ones that lead to the best possible outcomes.

Partners in Crime: Establishing Clinical-Supply Chain Teams
Supply chain and clinical teams have traditionally had little, if any, interaction. With the value of the healthcare supply chain increasingly coming to light, clinicians and supply chain professionals are collaborating like never before. Some hospitals have created “clinically integrated supply chains,” where supply chain professionals and clinicians meet regularly to share ideas, discuss products, determine what’s working/what’s not and to set ambitious, patient-focused goals. One GHX customer, a large, Midwestern hospital system, has even had its clinician and supply chain team work together to successfully keep the number of central-line infections – one of the main causes of healthcare-associated infections – at zero.

Moving Out: Extending the Healthcare Supply Chain Outside of the Hospital
For many patients, "care" doesn’t stop when they leave the hospital. It continues with home care, in rehab and physical therapy facilities or nursing homes. To ensure consistency of care, some healthcare organizations are partnering with other agencies to go wherever the patient goes. With the goal of improved care and reduced readmission rates, the healthcare supply chain is readily expanding to be wherever the patient is physically located.

Visit the Healthcare Hub blog again this Friday to learn two more ways that our customers are tapping into their supply chains to directly benefit patient care, including, “Experimenting with Predictive Analytics” and “Adapting to Personalized Medicine.”

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Scott Kelley

Vice President of North American Sales and Marketing