Building Resilient Healthcare Supply Chains: Addressing Challenges and Enhancing Efficiency

10:17 pm
June 30, 2023

Summary:

The healthcare industry faces several challenges in the supply chain, including shortages and delays, lack of convenient fulfillment options, and counterfeiting concerns. These challenges have a significant impact on patient care and staff stress levels. To address these issues, healthcare supply chain professionals need to focus on building resilient supply chains. This involves improving visibility and proactivity, consolidating and collaborating to optimize fulfillment, and increasing traceability along the supply chain. Innovative solutions from IBM can help healthcare organizations achieve these goals, ensuring adaptability, minimizing risks, reducing costs, and driving continuous improvement in environmental and social performance.

Facts about healthcare supply chains:

According to an industry survey, 78% of respondents still use manual supply chain processes. Nurses in medical/surgical units spend up to 2 hours of their shift on supply-related tasks. The number of units recalled in the pharma industry increased by 114% in 2022 compared to 2021, indicating a growing trend of recalls.

3 steps to building healthcare supply chain resiliency:

Step 1: Improve visibility and proactivity

Hospitals need greater visibility into their inventory, location, and potential disruptions. Artificial intelligence can aid in predicting and minimizing supply chain issues.

Step 2: Consolidate and collaborate to optimize fulfillment options

Siloed departments and facilities hinder effective supply chain management. Consolidating data and fostering collaboration streamlines purchasing power and inventory management.

Step 3: Increase traceability

Actionable real-time data is crucial for maintaining product quality, identifying contamination, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Building a blockchain-based network enhances visibility, traceability, and provenance.

IBM Supply Chain solutions can help:

IBM offers a suite of solutions specifically designed for the healthcare industry. This includes the IBM Supply Chain Intelligence Suite, which provides proactive insights, the SCIS: Blockchain Transparent Supply for end-to-end traceability, and IBM Sterling OMS for real-time inventory visibility and order orchestration. IBM Consulting also offers expertise in supply chain consulting, helping healthcare organizations build resilient and sustainable supply chains.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why is building a resilient healthcare supply chain important?

A: Building a resilient healthcare supply chain is important because it addresses challenges such as shortages, delays, and counterfeiting, which have negative effects on patient care and staff stress levels. Resilient supply chains can ensure that healthcare organizations have the necessary resources and capabilities to overcome disruptions and maintain the quality of care.

Q: How can healthcare supply chain professionals improve visibility and proactivity?

A: Healthcare supply chain professionals can improve visibility and proactivity by leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence to predict and minimize supply chain disruptions. They should also have access to real-time data on inventory and potential disruptions to make proactive decisions.

Q: What are the benefits of consolidating and collaborating in the healthcare supply chain?

A: Consolidating data and fostering collaboration between departments and facilities can optimize fulfillment options, streamline purchasing power, and improve inventory management. This leads to cost savings, enhanced efficiency, and improved customer satisfaction.

Q: How does increasing traceability in the supply chain help in the healthcare industry?

A: Increasing traceability in the healthcare supply chain ensures the delivery of safe and effective products. It allows for better monitoring of product quality, identification of potential contamination, and compliance with regulatory requirements. Traceability also helps in addressing fraud and counterfeiting concerns.

Q: How can IBM Supply Chain solutions assist healthcare organizations?

A: IBM offers a range of solutions designed for the healthcare industry, including the IBM Supply Chain Intelligence Suite for proactive insights, SCIS: Blockchain Transparent Supply for end-to-end traceability, and IBM Sterling OMS for real-time inventory visibility. These solutions, along with IBM Consulting’s expertise, can help healthcare organizations build resilient and sustainable supply chains.

Source: IBM


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