Structured Healthcare Supply Chains facilitate improved patient care say GHX

The health care industry has evolved its supply chain philosophy from being merely functional into becoming Fotolia_70301527_Subscription_Monthly_Msomething that can also provide better clinical results.

Global healthcare supply chain specialists GHX, in a recent study of healthcare supply chains, has identified five important ways that their customers are able to make best use of their supply chains in order to achieve significantly improved patient care.

Evaluating top products and identifying best practices

Originally, healthcare supply chains were all about analyzing data in order to determine the best sources and the best prices. Today however, supply chains are now being used to improve patient welfare by evaluating the available products and identifying best practices that can facilitate the optimum outcome for patients.

Promoting interactivity between healthcare supply chains and their clinical teams

In the past healthcare supply chains and the clinical teams that are involved with them have been relatively insular. But with the new grounds that healthcare supply chains are now breaking in terms of product evaluation and optimum outcome scenarios, more supply chains and their professional teams are collaborating and sharing information with increasing regularity.

Some GHX customers have set up an initiative whereby their healthcare supply chain teams meet up regularly to discuss ideas, swap information about products, and determine goals that are focused on patient welfare.

Supply chains that facilitate extending patient care beyond the hospital environment

Whereas in the past many healthcare supply chains operated by hospitals have concentrated on patient care while patients were in the hospital environment, many hospitals are now beginning to extend the boundaries of their supply chains to take into account patient after-care outside of the hospital.

In order to achieve this extended care, some of GHX’s customers have formed partnerships with other external healthcare agencies in order to be able to extend their care to wherever it is the patient happens to be. This improved, extended care carries greater benefits for the patient and is impacting positively on healthcare by reducing re-admission rates.

Healthcare supply chains are becoming more predictive and flexible

GHX have also recognized that many of their customers are now using the Internet to obtain supply chain data that is available to not only help them to improve the decision-making process, but in addition, to also help them to forecast demand.

Not only does this enable the supply chains to be more flexible and to deliver products to clinicians on time, it also enables them to design contingency plans to deal with situations where a medicine has been discontinued or is temporarily unavailable.

In addition to helping to improve the patient outcome, this also helps to free-up more time that clinicians can then spend concentrating on patient care.

Healthcare supply chains incorporate new technology to innovate

A small number of GHX customers are now beginning to evolve their supply chains around the basis of personalized medicine. This means incorporating new technologies such as 3-D printing into the supply chain process. This has enabled one hospital to begin experimenting with adapting its supply chain to facilitate the use of 3-D printing in terms of jaw reconstruction – an exciting innovation in the healthcare industry.


Supply chain evolution applies to all industries not just the healthcare industry. Post a comment below to share any innovations you’d like incorporated into your supply chain to improve outcomes.

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