The Healthcare Hub

Healthcare Supply Chain: Embracing Innovative Thinking Requires a New Approach

Friday, April 5, 2019

The healthcare industry is undergoing significant change. In response, supply chain has the potential to make forward progress in both new and old problems, but success in the new environment calls for a different approach. Where a traditional approach may feel more comfortable, the industry must embrace innovative thinking to tackle the challenges in this new era.

Diversity in teams has proven effective to spark creative and strategic thinking and to foster a culture of innovation. Not to say that building diverse teams is without obstacles — such as overcoming “old thinking” just to get started — but it can accelerate progress on new paths to success. With rising costs, declining reimbursements and an aging population, a new approach with diversity is essential to tackle the challenges ahead.

In a recent Supply Chain Brain article, Tina Murphy, chief revenue officer for GHX, explored the importance of diversity of thought and breaking biases for the healthcare supply chain, especially given the influence that supply chain holds in value-based care. The research pointing to positive outcomes by enabling diversity is piling up. Here are a few reasons we need to keep exploring this idea for solving problems.

Breaking Biases

Bringing together people with different skills, experiences, industry backgrounds and personalities in an inclusive environment helps keep biases in check. Although it may be harder for a diverse team to get to the answer, the outcomes are better according to a study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. This is one area where hard work is rewarded. Other studies have shown that organizational performance in the form of sales revenue and greater profits benefit from racial and gender diversity.

More at Stake

As the stakes get higher in healthcare, it’s about more than getting it right – product, place and time. Delivery of care is seeing a major shift, requiring supply chain to reassess the most basic tasks. Now, the “right” place is often beyond the hospital walls, and there are multiple criteria for discerning what is truly the “right” product. These changes in healthcare require a deeper understanding from supply chain about both the patient and the clinician to get to the right answer.

As the industry moves toward value-based care, now is the time to assess teams and thoughtfully prepare for the future with creative and innovative solutions.

Read the article, A New Approach to Healthcare’s Age-Old Supply Chain Problems