Synchronising Pharma Supply Chains for the Patient
The importance of an efficient and synchronised supply chain cannot be overstated, from manufacturers to patients, it plays a pivotal role in ensuring timely access to life-saving medical resources. During the Logipharma US conference in Boston last November, a panel discussion shed light on some key strategies for synchronising the supply chain, emphasising the patient's welfare as the ultimate goal.
In this article, we delve into some of the insights shared during the discussion and explore how these strategies can improve patient care and streamline the healthcare supply chain.
Mastering Data Management and Visibility for Synchronisation
A fundamental aspect of synchronising the healthcare supply chain is mastering data management. This includes providing a clear demand signal and ensuring inventory visibility for suppliers. By harnessing the power of data, manufacturers can optimise production and distribution processes. Timely and accurate data enable them to respond swiftly to changes in patient demand, thereby reducing shortages or overstock situations. When patients receive the right care at the right time, it's a win-win for everyone in the healthcare supply chain.
The use of technology, like automated dispensing systems for high-demand medical supplies, streamlines the process and improves efficiency. These systems ensure that nurses and hospitals have access to the supplies they need, precisely when they need them. Moreover, organisations are exploring RFID technology to enhance supply chain visibility, potentially extending this technology to their suppliers. The result is a more synchronised and efficient supply chain that benefits patients at the end of the line.
Real-Time Data Sharing to Cut Costs
Another key strategy discussed is experimenting with real-time data sharing between hospitals and providers and their suppliers. This approach has the potential to uncover opportunities for reducing costs throughout the supply chain. By sharing data on inventory levels, consumption patterns, and other relevant information, healthcare providers and suppliers can collaborate to optimise their processes. When the supply chain operates more efficiently, costs can be reduced, and these savings can ultimately be passed on to the patient.
Engaging Frontline Workers in the Change
Involving frontline workers in problem-solving, change management, and new system/process design is pivotal for the adoption of new technologies. It's not just about introducing new tools and systems; it's about explaining the "why" behind these changes and the benefits they bring to patients. When healthcare professionals understand how these changes directly impact the quality of care they provide, they are more likely to embrace and champion these innovations.
This approach to change management emphasises the human element in technology adoption. It means that the end-users, who often interact directly with patients, have a say in how new technologies are designed and implemented. In the post-pandemic world, where healthcare workers have already had to adapt to new ways of working, this kind of collaboration becomes even more critical.
Additionally, the speaker during the discussion highlighted the importance of investing in internal staff for change management rather than relying on external consultants. This approach ensures that the change aligns with the unique needs of the healthcare organisation and its patient population.
Synchronising the healthcare supply chain for the patient's benefit is a complex but essential endeavour. The panel discussion shed light on how technology, data management, and employee engagement play crucial roles in achieving this goal. By focusing on these strategies, the healthcare supply chain can become more efficient, cost-effective, and, most importantly, patient-centric.
As we continue to navigate the modernisation challenges of the healthcare industry, synchronising the supply chain for the patient should remain a top priority, ultimately resulting in better patient care and improved overall healthcare outcomes.
If your organisation is having difficulty with end-to-end visibility across your supply chain network or supply chain partners due to disconnected/disparate systems, or data incompatibility, talk to us to find out how Veratrak’s award-winning software solutions enable participants along the life sciences supply chain to collaborate in new ways.
Contact us to start the conversation.