Why the Supply Chain Matters to Your Organization’s Success

From Population Health to Disaster Preparedness, Supply Chain is your Strategic Asset

In the last decade, supply chain has moved away from being focused solely on acquisition costs to become a core strategic partner within many healthcare organizations. The essential link that ties together all of the various stakeholders in the continuum of care, supply chain is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in population health management programs, disaster preparedness, and fulfilling all dimensions of the CQO Movement and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim.

Michael Schiller, CMRP, Senior Director at AHRMM of the American Hospital Association, discusses the promise of supply chain in this Q&A.

What is supply chain’s role in population health management programs?

MS: AHRMM assembled a task force of healthcare experts to examine the current population health landscape, determining the scope and impact these programs are having on the physical and behavioral health of people within their communities, defining supply chain’s current role, and envisioning supply chain’s strategic role moving forward. Based on their research, the group developed several guiding principles for others to employ when implementing their own population health management initiatives:

  • Supply chain sits at this intersection and is best suited to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders – clinicians, suppliers, and distributors, identifying relationships others may not see that deliver benefits that may have otherwise gone unrecognized.
  • Technology is key to implementing, managing, and sustaining most population health management programs where information sharing and communication between various parties is critical to improving the health of a population.
  • Supply chain professionals are a primary source of data and analytics on which many population health management programs are measured. Sharing robust, objective, and scientifically grounded real-world data between various parties can be used to educate stakeholders on the need for change and secure their support for these changes.

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