02/06 2012

World Congress Supply Chain Leadership Summit

I recently attended the World Congress Supply Chain Leadership Summit in Orlando, FL. Excellent conference! I wanted to talk about three main themes or strategies that emerged during the many presentations and discussions.

First, engage physicians. One point that was stressed is that physicians aren’t just passive recipients of data. They like to be active participants in the value analysis process and even during negotiations with suppliers.

Second, emphasize point-of-care data. The role of supply chain management (SCM) is rapidly expanding to encompass much more than the traditional perpetual items, warehouse management, logistics, and contracting. Their role now includes tracking the overall financial and clinical impact of every product used in the organization, which in turn requires their knowing exactly what is being used for patient care. The importance of this data can’t be overstated for the purposes of financial reporting, value based purchasing, and clinical outcomes reporting.

Third, prioritize patients. In addition to the changes occurring regarding the expanded administrative and strategic roles of the supply chain, there is also a new mentality and approach that is beginning to drive SCM strategy in leading hospitals and IDNs: focus on patients first. Not the physicians. Not the nurses. But on the patients who are the primary customers. This mentality alters not only how SCM organizes its operations, but also how it aligns all the constituents (clinical and non-clinical) around common objectives.