Supply chain logistics in healthcare are a series of processes that entail the workforce. The workforce is involved across various movements and groups of surgical equipment, medicine, and other products that are of great importance to the healthcare professional as they function in multiple facilities and sectors. The core, primary, or significant goal of the supply chain in the healthcare units is to examine the vulnerabilities in different departments and suggest or establish strategies to prevent them
Every health facility’s primary objective is to ensure that it provides quality and unlimited health care to the patient and offers better working conditions to its employees. Therefore, it requires enough and top-quality drugs supply in the pharmacy. Supply chain management provides the hospital pharmacy with timely available drugs at the best possible purchasing price. This case will require various suppliers’ floating tenders, agreements with the vendors, and different negotiation rounds (Arora & Gigras, 2018). Besides, the management of the quality blood supply is paramount in every health facility. The World Health organization and its associated medical facilities aim to manage blood supply dynamically. The record and critical examination of the blood donor are not regular (Yadav et al., 2020). This means that the location of blood collection, the number of blood banks, the coordination of blood banking to make it meet its goals, and the transportation system also have to be of top quality to ensure constant supply when needed.
To implement effective supply chain management, physical goods and information about medical services and products are transferred through several independent stakeholders. They include manufacturers, hospitals, providers, insurance companies, bulk purchasing organizations, as well as regulatory agencies. Therefore, for hospitals, the main challenge is to align their healthcare supply chain to the models of care delivery. Supply chains prevent adverse occurrences by maintaining business flow and valuable life (Arora & Gigras, 2018). The quality supply chain maintains top-quality safety to the patients and supports the care provided to the patient. To eradicate human errors, medicine allocation and citation, and reductive processes, all time-consuming processes in the supply chain should be streamlined.
Supply chain management in healthcare has also been shown to minimize costs. It is possible to achieve cost savings by facilitating interconnectedness between healthcare departments, which often have misaligned objectives and expenses. Supply chain management enables the accurate analysis of data, decreased variation in supplies or ordering, standardized ordering of new supplies, as well as improved and maintained workflows. Through the effective management of materials, supply chain specialists collaborate with health teams on capturing relevant supply items linked to costs.
As to inventory, supply chain management enables healthcare institutions to consider digitalization as a way to improve inventory management. This allows for the automatic replenishment of vital items before stocks go too low. Therefore, supply chains can provide increased control and visibility by improving the efficiency of processes through automation so that frontline staff has more time to spend on their patients instead of being preoccupied with manual processes. Optimization is the direct result of effective supply chain management due to the streamlined procedures. The introduction of new technologies, such as barcode scanners, enables optimization within chains and improved sustainability. It has become crucial to accentuate the use of supply chain management within the context of COVID-19 due to the need to ensure the steady supply of materials in the context of extreme pressure and workloads of providers.
Arora, M., & Gigras, Y. (2018). Importance of supply chain management in healthcare of third world countries. International Journal of Supply and Operations Management, 5(1), 101-106.
Yadav, A. S., Swami, A., Ahlawat, N., Bhatt, D., & Pandey, T. (2020). Soft computing techniques for boolean function and reliability-based approach of blood bank supply chain management with distribution center using vector-evaluated genetic algorithm. In R. Sharma, R. P. Mahapatra & K. Cengiz (Eds), Data security in internet of things based RFID and WSN systems applications (pp. 25-35). CRC Press.