Leveraging Supply Chain Leadership to Build Organizational Advantages: 1) Data Standardization

Although many may perceive healthcare to be delivered at a local level, healthcare is by nature a global sector.  Specific to supply chain management, the requisition and delivery of goods is often crossing borders and inventories are being filled with any number of products from different manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors.  Aside from the external complexities of coordinating the supply chain, this same complexity can be seen within a healthcare organization.  All of these different products with different labels and characteristics are being delivered into hospitals and then distributed into different care settings.  From oncology to pharmacy to perioperative care; the different care settings all have unique requirements and needs.

Many organizations have looked towards technology to help create solutions to help solve supply chain complexities and realize improved efficiency and care coordination.  While many advantages have been promised and delivered through the use of technology, continued constraints are present to due a key issue – a lack of standardization.  We can understand why standardization was identified as an action initiative the supply chain leaders that participated in the AHRMM roundtable. Mobile Aspects shared our thoughts on the issue of standardization in a prior blog posting that can be found here.

The point being there needs to be standardization of data across multiple levels in the industry from device manufacturers and GPO’s all the way down to the individual departments and materials managers within a hospital.  As this inter-connectivity between the supply chain in healthcare occurs it will become easier to improve the intra-connectivity between individual departments within an organization with supply chain becoming the nexus for communications and operational logistics.