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Supply-Chain Management in Healthcare

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Understanding Competitive Trends

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


Improved management of the supply chain has long been a focus in many industries; it is now having an impact on the healthcare industry.

For instance, one study has shown that hospitals in the United States have been more successful than hospitals in France in reducing levels of supplies inventory.

Just In Time Inventory Management

Just-in-time approaches to inventory management can improve financial performance. Improved supply chain management can reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary delays and eliminating defects in healthcare supplies.

Competitive Trends

Current competitive trends will likely make supply chain management more important. For example, the emergence of complementary medicine has implications for the supply function in hospitals, as these therapies require supplies of rather exotic items such as acupuncture needles, herbs, beads and so on. Of course, DME is the obvious example.

Thus, improvements in patient care often require concomitant improvements in operations management processes.

Patient Focused Care

Improving the quality of care using patient-focused care can also improve the financial performance of a facility. Patient-focused care not only refers to a holistic approach to care, but it also refers to the re-engineering of processes to facilitate patient care. This re-engineering may lead to increased efficiency of healthcare providers that result in lower costs.

In another example, in an effort to provide patient-focused care, a hospital may conduct job analyses leading to cross-training of personnel and the elimination of the duplication of performance of tasks.

Strategic Management Improvement



Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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5 Responses

  1. Emergency Room Patients Tracked With RFID Tags

    Excellent post, and did you know that eHR vendor Meditech is integrating its system with Awarepoint’s tracking software for better emergency care?




  2. DME

    The Obama administration just said that it would vastly expand the use of competitive bidding to buy durable medical equipment [DME] for Medicare beneficiaries after a one-year experiment saved money for taxpayers and patients without harming the quality of care.

    Granted, I’m biased. But, we have been beating the drums for the idea of competitive bidding for some time now.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  3. Supply Chain
    [Optimization through Collaboration]

    Here, a panel of hospital leaders and other experts discuss how organizations can reduce costs and enhance the value of their supply chain




  4. Supply chain collaboration tested as more ACOs form

    With so many organizations making up your accountable care organization, the need for a collaborative approach to supply chain purchasing is leading organizations to lean on analytics tools and new chains of communication to keep costs in check.




  5. Gartner: 10 Top Ranking Healthcare Supply Chains

    1. Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City)
    2. Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio)
    3. Mayo Foundation (Rochester, Minn.)
    4. Mercy (St. Louis)
    5. McKesson (San Francisco)
    6. Owens & Minor (Richmond, Va.)
    7. CVS Health (Woonsocket, R.I.)
    8. Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, N.J.)
    9. AmerisourceBergen (Chesterbrook, Pa.)
    10. Cleveland Clinic

    Source: Becker’s Hospital Review


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