Integrated Supply Chain Network for Healthcare

Introduction – Integrated Supply Chain Network for Healthcare :

Year–on-year there is phenomenal increase in operational cost in healthcare sectors. Whereas hospitals and healthcare service providers occur to increase their service cost directly to the patients.

Lot of research works are in progress to make the healthcare cost as much low to the end users. In this context, the integrated supply chain network will support to achieve the objective of low cost healthcare service.

Integrated Supply Chain Network for Healthcare

The industry has made significant steps toward improving automation, efficiency and standardization in the supply chain. Suppliers and providers are using technology and automation for better collaboration to help reduce price discrepancies, reduce operational cost, better manage the synchronization of data that drives supply-chain efficiency, and ultimately move closer to just-in-time delivery.

Many healthcare organizations are suffering with their supply budgets with costly products, services, and technologies that are not functionally required. These organizations often fail to look for available lower cost functional alternatives that can meet or exceed the patient care requirements.

Value creating activities such as brand creation, quality service operations, resource engagement, business development, turnaround time and physical movement are the highly commanding areas whereas the management has to give the upmost attention.

The critical part is the above mentioned things should be done without compromising the quality of service. More perusal towards the life saving sector, there is no secondary thought for giving priority to the quality service.

Adding value through Integrated Supply Chain Network

However, the move to value-based care has put even more pressure on hospitals and health networks. To meet these modern demands, a critical step in supply-chain innovation is complete integration between all supply-chain participants.

Integrated Supply Chain Network for Healthcare


The quality of information will helps to reduce operational cost, multiple processing and repeating services. Incorporating and maintaining accurate product data is the first step in gaining visibility, driving purchasing accuracy and capturing revenue.

Keeping this data in sync across third parties is even more challenging. It requires a common point of interaction that drives data accuracy back to the source systems, and ultimately acts as the system of record. Clean, standardized data is a must, but that data does not create value until it is used within a effective service process.

As supply chains become more tightly intertwined among trading partners, integrating common data into their disparate systems of record is an absolute must. Digitizing the core is an enterprise-wide undertaking in which a common technological platform, often an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, links and shares information from central business functions such as finance, purchasing, supply chain, marketing, and others.

Digitizing the core can help health care providers address problems and to make better decision.

Supply Chain Visibility:

In healthcare sector, timely and trouble-free delivery has mattered more than cost. Trying to track down inventory that could be anywhere from a provider’s warehouse to the sales reps trunk is complex. Supply Chain Visibility is the key to reduce operational cost, elimination of waste and for effective service.

It’s going to become imperative for healthcare service providers to invest in transportation visibility solutions. The future will include the need to identify carrier performance issues across product line and carriers, will necessitate mode-agnostic platforms, and will require detailed global tracking capabilities from international origin to final destination.

Integrated Supply Chain Network for Healthcare

Healthcare Automation:

Comparing to other sectors like banking, retail and other industries, healthcare has lagged behind in its use of automation.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence solutions are making an impact by streamlining workflows and helping reduce clinician burnout.

Automation and AI would enable hospital caretakers to perform routine tasks, such as medication delivery or obtaining a patient’s vital signs, remotely instead of needing to be physically present in the patient’s room.

There are not enough care providers to continuously monitor and check in with large patient populations for this new model of care.

Automation tools are not subject to human error or fatigue, so they can help provide a consistent basis of care activities. With the use of automation tools, you can handle larger number of patients at one time and helps you to scale the time and service efficiency.

Logistics (Inbound/Outbound):

Integration of logistics activities such as procurement, processing, storage, transportation and distribution of materials and services plays a vital role in healthcare service sectors.

The integration with process flow such as patient flow, physical flow and information flow should be taken care for quality delivery of healthcare service.

Whereas you can maximize the patient care by ensuring availability of life saving materials and instruments, minimizing storage space, minimizing inventory, and reducing patient handling time and cost with the help of effective logistics service.

Inbound and outbound operations at the hub level and at the hospital premises are all managed through smooth and efficient processes, including labeling that ensures seamless processing of material right up to billing against individual patient records.


Today, healthcare providers are under enormous pressure due to increasing competition, government regulations, rising costs, demand for higher quality of service. Healthcare organizations must strive for value addition across the entire supply chain.

With the best team and with best practice in the operational process with lean healthcare methodology, you can effectively provide a quality healthcare service. It helps to identify and eliminate inefficient process and services with integrated supply chain network.

It is essential to monitor and track patient care pathway and the information should be share for all functional department to ensure quality services within a financially restrained environment.

Conclusion – Integrated Supply Chain Network for Healthcare :

It is important to look into the supply chain management aspects and identify areas in which they can improve the quality of service for efficient patient care. In near future, healthcare sector will survive only if it adopt and update the supply chain network in a fast manner.

With the integrated supply chain network, healthcare service providers can set up a centralized information data sharing process, consolidation of materials, inventory planning, storage facilities, manpower requirement and allocation of responsibilities with focused on minimum turnaround time for patient care.

It will lead to minimize the operational cost without compromising the quality of service. Virtual Centralization of the Supply Chain and inventory management helps attaining inventory visibility and accurate counts at every stage of the process flow and also helps reducing time and cost.

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