National Healthcare Research Report
Optimizing the Healthcare Supply Chain: Lessons Learned and the way forward
Challenges facing the healthcare supply chain were thrust into the spotlight in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and escalated at a rapid pace. Effective and timely sourcing of sufficient crucial items including personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizer and ventilators became a critical problem for hospitals and healthcare systems.
In this report we examine the lessons learned from last year’s crisis and look at recommendations for supply chain management that could effectively control inventories while containing costs and producing optimal clinical outcomes.
• The surge in demand for PPE during the pandemic stretched the healthcare supply chain beyond its breaking point.
• Reliance upon a limited number of suppliers proved extremely problematic. Greater diversification in sourcing supplies is recommended.
• Increased adoption of analytics and automation can improve supply chain performance and reduce error.
• Embracing innovations and alternate production methods, such as 3D printing, can help alleviate supply shortages.
• Increased transparency in processes and the buy-in of all key stakeholders are critical to the development of more resilient supply chains.
• Look for more healthcare systems to move to direct management of inventory and distribution rather than relying on third-party providers.
• Cost control remains a key issue across all areas of healthcare system operations and may limit the ability to effect change.
Shawn Janus | Colliers | Chicago – Downtown
National Director, Healthcare Services
Chicago – Downtown
Stephen Newbold | Colliers | Washington, DC
Director of National Office Research
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