The COVID-19 crisis thrust hospital supply chain issues into the national spotlight as we heard about shortages of personal protective equipment almost daily during the early days of the crisis. But the issues that lead to these shortages are only a few of the many challenges that hospital supply chain managers face every day. In this episode of the Accelerate Health Podcast, co-host, Rob Havasy, senior director of connected health with HIMSS is joined by Rich Kucera, chief executive officer and co-founder of Symmetric Health Solutions to discuss supply chain innovation, the current challenges and potential solutions.
While the problem hasn’t been solved completely, supply chain innovators are making the industry think differently about creating a single source of truth. Bringing all the stakeholders together through the multiple data sets and silos, goes beyond the traditional stakeholders and into the regulatory bodies, government and regulatory agencies, and the payer side.
Everyone talks about items differently and one of the major things that can be rethought around supply chain innovation in health systems is if that information—the different ways people talk about supply items—is put together in a way that links the stages of the supply chain. From approval and clearance of an item, through to where it’s manufactured, processed and sterilized, then imported and exported, all the way to the hospital and to the point of use with the patient. If the data that’s already out there is tracked at each of these points, a source of truth is created. This allows healthcare systems to see, in reality, what supplies are available. What do these items actually look like? What’s on the label? Were they approved, cleared? Why and for what purpose?
This pervasive and complex problem involves many parties, and bringing this information together is challenging. By shining a light on the challenge, we can reduce costs, make the system more efficient and provide more care quality.
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