Top Ways to Improve Healthcare Supply Chain Resilience

Top Ways to Improve Healthcare Supply Chain Resilience

Alex D'Souza, Healthcare Tech Outlook | Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Healthcare supply chains can build a holistic view of vital medical supplies by improving collaboration, knowledge sharing, and coordination among their participants. From such a perspective, the highly fragmented healthcare supply chains can be optimized globally.

FREMONT, CA

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected every nation, sector, and supply chain on the planet. The pandemic wreaked havoc on the healthcare system, with hospitals on the verge of collapsing due to overcrowding, critical-item supply chains disrupted, and federal and state departments scrambling to provide palliative and preventative care. Even though governments and private sector companies had emergency plans and stockpiles in place, the pandemic revealed many significant supply chain shortcomings.

Healthcare organizations and pharmaceutical companies can consider adopting the following measures to improve supply chain resiliency and reduce supply chain interruptions during major emergencies:

Make Use of Technological Solutions

Supply chain resiliency can be improved at a low cost by using various digital and analytics solutions. Cloud-based supply networks, for example, enhance cross-entity communication by facilitating knowledge sharing and assisting businesses in avoiding price gouging. Data can be integrated across the entire supply chain with real-time network visibility technologies (such as 5G technology and blockchain). Artificial intelligence and natural language processing can be employed for supplier monitoring.

Create A Holistic View of Inventory

Healthcare supply chains can build a holistic view of vital medical supplies by improving collaboration, knowledge sharing, and coordination among their participants. From such a perspective, the highly fragmented healthcare supply chains can be optimized globally. Similarly, suppose both private and public institutions had a more centralized distribution system. In that case, they might better balance future demand with limited supply, eliminating excess in some areas and shortages in others.

Achieve Network Agility

Setting up alternate production sites and assembly nodes around the world will help companies become more agile. Many who rely on off-shore manufacturing should bring some of it in-house or closer to their core markets. Simultaneously, regulators should keep a close eye on mergers and acquisitions between key supply manufacturers to prevent monopolization of mission-critical supply chains. Developing personalized solutions for each segment of the supply chain would increase efficiency and reduce costs in all situations rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

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