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Traditionally, supply chain management (SCM) professionals have used a data-driven "value analysis" process to stimulate their change management conversations with clinicians. However, with today's supplier performance management (SPM) tools, if properly configured for healthcare, value analysis can become a continuous improvement process inclusive of SCM professionals, clinicians and suppliers. And that’s an important mouthful.
From a SCM perspective, the healthcare industry has been a house divided. On the supply-side, you have some of the most sophisticated practitioners to be found across industry, while on the buy-side, talking specifically now about acute care providers, you have a group that are just starting to find their sea legs. And there are good reasons for it.
Hospitals outsourced their SCM and procurement operations to the industry’s group purchasing organizations (GPOs) many years ago and the market’s largest (Vizient and Premier) remain prominent, if not dominant. To be fair, these GPOs almost single-handedly “raised” the hospital market’s supply chain management infrastructure. They started with customers who didn’t know what they were buying and have delivered a platform. For the most part, they have delivered the requisite technologies and processes and helped to establish appropriate data flows, storage and automation.
But everything is changing. And while new reimbursement models tied directly to patient outcomes is a huge tip to this iceberg, it’s just one of many new developments that are noteworthy.
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