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Gartner Inc.’s 10th annual Healthcare Supply Chain ranking recognizes organizations across the healthcare value chain that demonstrate leadership in improving human life at sustainable costs.
“Healthcare supply chains today face a multitude of challenges: increasing cost pressures and patient expectations as well as the need to keep up with rapid technology advancement, to name just a few,” said Stephen Meyer, senior director at Gartner. “In order to be successful, supply chains must sport a specific skill set that consists of patient focus, collaboration and network visibility. The top supply chains in this year’s ranking have embraced those skills and excelled in executing them.”
Cleveland Clinic takes a big leap forward and jumps from No. 8 to the top spot. The organization has been in the top 10 of the ranking for the past three years and its continuous efforts to improve and innovate paid off.
Its model is built on collaboration across stakeholders. With a large span of control for supply chain across most areas of spend, supply chain is woven into the fabric of patient care, supporting a patient-first focus at the organization. In 2018, Cleveland Clinic continued improving its services and employed RFID technology for high-value medical devices and a less-expensive solution for commodity products.
Four Companies Found New Masters Category
“In the 10th year of the Healthcare Top 25 ranking, we follow in the footsteps of the Global Supply Chain Top 25 and introduce a Masters Category to honor continuous excellence,” Meyer said. “The initial Masters class consists of Cardinal Health, Mayo Foundation, Intermountain Healthcare and Owens & Minor.”
The Masters category is not a permanent appointment. Organizations must requalify every year and continue to innovate. Cardinal Health, for example, expanded its digital capabilities and introduced a cloud-based patient engagement platform called “ConnectSource” to gain better insights into the patient experience and treatment journey.
Mayo Foundation heavily invested in digital supply chain as a core differentiator. Intermountain Healthcare had a lot of progress on the analytics front of supply chain, by enhancing its ability to visualize key data points such as supply expense or contract compliance, which allows for better decision making.
Distributor Owens & Minor has tackled one of the chronic issues for manufacturers: the visibility of inventory. Through key partnerships, the company has brought in advanced technology to enhance its strong logistics and inventory management capabilities.
Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 for 2018
New Faces at the Top
CVS Health, the largest retail pharmacy in the U.S. achieves its highest ranking ever, moving up five spots to No. 2. The company is using its supply chain to become a new breed of healthcare provider that leverages frequent customer interaction as a way to drive population health management in ways that traditional providers can’t.
Johnson & Johnson is a familiar face in the top 10 and rose to third place this year — the highest ranking in the past eight years. This is proof of its continuous focus on development of foundational supply chain capabilities such as end-to-end visibility. Johnson & Johnson prides itself on being a customer-centric organization and prioritizes driving value to customers by developing new solutions and ensuring access for patients.
As an early adopter of new technologies, Johnson & Johnson recently established a center of excellence for 3-D printing to enhance and augment its manufacturing and distributions operations and unlock new opportunities.
In its 10th year in the top 10, Mercy moved into the fourth spot. Through its supply chain arm, Mercy built differentiated supply chain solutions over the past 20 years. Today, Mercy is establishing leading practices in the virtualization of care. The supply chain works to match a product and service response aligned with virtual care sites, including homecare. Its recently established virtual care center has shown good early results using remote care and monitoring strategies to catch problems early, keep patients at home and lower costs.
McKesson, rounded out the top five, down one spot year over year. Like many companies in the distribution space, McKesson pursues a physical and a digital customer solution space. This combination keeps the company relevant as physical distribution isn’t enough to meet the needs of increasingly sophisticated customers in the healthcare space.
“In order to stay competitive, healthcare organizations must ensure that their supply chain remains patient-centric,” Meyer said. “It’s important to realize that modern healthcare is a team sport. The company that can establish collaborative relationships with other stakeholders and integrate them into the supply chain has the best chances to succeed.”
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