The world of healthcare is currently undergoing some significant changes. New government regulations, as well as the development of new coding systems, are causing healthcare providers to diligently gather information about the future of their field. Furthermore, they are trying to achieve this without a reduction in the burden they face from their day-to-day patient care work. One area in which healthcare professionals are increasingly focusing their attention is supply chain visibility.
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The Broad Scope And Dynamic Nature of Healthcare Supply Chains
Supply logistics in the healthcare field is a huge industry that is set to get bigger in the coming years. According to a study published by Richard Beeny, CEO of pharmaceutical logistics company LifeScience Logistics, there is over $4.5 trillion spent in the global medical industry, a number that should continue to grow. There are a huge number of different kinds of healthcare facilities that depend on intricate supply networks to allow their operation to continue smoothly.
Challenges Faced By Healthcare Supply Managers
Unfortunately for those responsible for supply chain concerns at a medical facility, the huge scope of these healthcare supply chains means some complex challenges. One of these challenges is the high cost of developing new pharmaceutical drugs. According to a study conducted by Bernard Munos, an executive at the InnoThink Center for Research in Biomedical Innovation, every drug that is approved comes with an average cost of around $4 billion. Another big factor that is contributing to the rise in healthcare supply chain costs is increasing demand for healthcare.
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The Baby Boomer generation, one of the biggest in history, is now increasingly reaching elderly ages where they will spend more on healthcare. The size of Generation Y, or the Millennial generation, is also having an impact on the future of healthcare. A study by the Health Management Academy from July 2013 indicated that an average person from Generation Y will use three times as many healthcare resources as they paid for, while a Baby Boomer will use twice as many.
How To Improve Supply Chain Efficiency
To combat these problems, healthcare officials are increasingly examining their supply chain and taking steps to improve. Just a few steps that healthcare professionals are taking to enhance their supply chain efficiency include:
- Buying local to help minimize the travel costs of equipment supplied to them
- Conducting an audit of their current supply chain methods and areas where these methods need to be improved to minimize overhead
- Creating departments and teams to research supply chain efficiency best practices and brief high level management
- Retaining the services of logistics companies which specialize in helping clients in the healthcare field lower their supply chain costs
- Choosing a supplier that can provide quality medical products without compromising the quality of their supply chain custody and shipping methods.
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Every medical organization has its own unique challenges and obstacles when it comes to supply chain efficiency. If you are looking to help ensure that your facility has an effective supply chain, take some time to analyze your current distribution process and put some effort into improving your supply chain to help your organization succeed.
About Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.