Supply chain at Texas Health Resources has been a centralized, corporate function since 2001, explained Shaun Clinton, senior director, acute care services, supply chain management. At the Market Insights conference, Clinton shared some of the projects in which he and his team are engaged.
Project management tools. “I consider everything supply chain does to be some form of project management,” said Clinton. “No, make that process management, that is, building repeatable processes. We hope to do that around contracting and product selection. The more repeatable you can make a process, the more proficient you can be.”
Unique device identification. If a standardized supply chain is a safe supply chain, UDI will help bring it about, said Clinton. “It also helps make the supply chain more friction-less.” Texas Health Resources is working on implementing GS1 global location numbers, or GLNs, which are used to identify physical locations or legal entities; and is beginning to work on implementing GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers, or GTINs, which are assigned to individual products or services. I hope I see the day when [a uniform number system] is implemented,” he said. “A frictionless supply chain exists in almost every other industry, but not in healthcare.” The good news is that healthcare professionals are beginning to realize the benefits they will enjoy once UDI is implemented.