Volker Shultz, senior vice president of healthcare logistics at GENCO says that,” The healthcare industry is not as mature in terms of supply chain and logistics as other industries, such as automotive, that have been feeling cost pressure for years.”
So how do we solve this problem? To solve the problem, we must look into each part of the supply chain to identify the issues and figure out how to fix them. There are many issues with the healthcare supply chain so let’s work our way down the list.
Regulatory compliance ranks as the top supply chain concern among healthcare companies. Many companies find it difficult to obtain in-house expertise to help them comply with the always changing regulatory environment.To make it a little easier, both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are pushing to computerize and streamline operations.
Next is looking at the supply chain inefficiencies. Healthcare providers, distributors and manufacturers are still using manual processes, which have a large rate of human error. Other industries have product scanning, electronic ordering, order accuracy controls and a handful of other processes that help improve the efficiency and accuracy of supplying medical equipment. This results in a lot of ordering errors, lack of product on hand for patients and receiving incorrect or expired inventory.
Another growing trend in the healthcare industry is using technology to deliver medical services. New tools make it possible for patients to get at home healthcare. Rather than spending money and making regular visits to the doctor’s office to manage chronic diseases, patients can do this in the comfort of their own home! MIJA’s Critical Alert for Oxygen is one of the tools that help make at-home oxygen therapy possible.
There is still a long list of other problems but with smarter logistics, streamlined processes and technology, the healthcare supply chain can be controlled and cost can be kept at a minimum. This would be beneficial for both the consumer and the healthcare providers.