Publication by Healthcare Purchasing News
Executives and professionals in healthcare supply chain gaze somewhat longingly at other industries for glimpses at what might emerge within their realm of influence in the coming years but maybe that’s a distraction and not the feared disintermediation that some fathom might occur. At best, it would foment disruption of the status quo.
During his popular educational session at AHRMM in late July, titled, “NextGen Supply Chain and Leadership Capabilities: Digital, Innovative and Disruptive,” Randy Bradley, PhD, Associate Professor of Information Systems & Supply Chain Management, Haslam College of Business at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, said something rather profound and thought-provoking. Paraphrasing, he detonated this idea: What if [insert disruptor here] really isn’t looking to do what healthcare currently does, only better? What if [insert disruptor here] actually is looking to do what healthcare doesn’t?
Yikes. Talk about flipping the stereotype.
So, for example, if an organization such as Amazon (which was cited specifically) wasn’t really in the market to replace/supplant distributors, dot-coms, GPOs, shippers, supply chain management expertise within hospital settings, then what’s with all the hullabaloo the last few years? That’s the point. Instead of holding up Amazon as the paragon of the future-ready supply chain in healthcare — and rest assured, most people agree that Amazon does what it does fairly well — why not explore the gaps in current healthcare supply chain operational continuity that need to be filled, and by whom?
For some, new and emerging techniques and technologies will shape how the future of healthcare supply chain shakes out. For others, new and emerging mindsets and creative thinking will drive it first. And for others, it may be a combination of all of that against the backdrop of economic warfare where the desire for revenue generation and profit growth battles against the dread of reimbursement reductions and budget cuts.
Of course none of this supersedes mastery of the fundamentals of supply chain operations; that is, ensuring the right products in the right quantities are in the right places at the right times and for the right prices so that clinicians (e.g., nurses, etc.) don’t have to embark on a “vision quest” to locate them.
Among the variety of techniques and technologies that may or will redefine and reinvigorate healthcare supply chain operations within the next 10 years, which will emerge as a “need to have” versus a “nice to have?”
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