Sr. Manager, Advancement & Operations, Corporate Supply Chain, Yale New Haven Health
October 2023- The Journal of Healthcare Contracting
JHC: Where does non-acute, alternate site care fit into our nation’s healthcare continuum? Why are non-acute sites important?
Alan R. Ready Jr.: Alternate care sites often succeed in delivering more efficient and cost-effective care for optimal patient care. Decongesting our nation’s acute locations allows hospitals to do what they do best: treat higher acuity patients. Non-acute care post-pandemic is steadily increasing its influence through telehealth and fully embracing a continuum of care, which puts total wellness and the management of chronic disease at the forefront. Hospitals being able to diversify the services offered and drive meaningful change to how patient care is delivered through focused non-acute strategies is vital to our population health’s overall success.
JHC: Has the perception/integration by executive leadership of alternate sites within a health system or IDN changed in the last few years? If so, could you explain?
Ready: In a post-pandemic world, the need for a diverse care model demands an increased focus on population health and creative solutions to reach further into the continuum of care. There is a noticeable transformation as an industry, demonstrated with executive leadership driving meaningful integration. The dialogue around integration to face economic challenges, while improving care coordination and patient engagement, is translating to significant change.
JHC: How do you measure success in non-acute supply chain initiatives that may differ from acute?
Ready: Quality and outcomes remain the focus of any supply chain initiative; non-acute supply chain often observes lower economic impact and higher rates of deviation than that of an acute project. Standardized formularies, which can appropriately leverage class of trade coupled with supply chain resiliency and optimal patient outcomes, is a recipe for success. Improving the engagement of our vendor partners and driving a sustainable supply chain promotes routine ordering habits and allows supply chain leaders to leverage that consistency for security in allocations and general inventories. Working with our clinical leadership to expand care signature to alternate care sites brings that culture of safety and alignment the industry so desperately needs; challenge is to find that flexibility and process, which allows these sites to thrive.
JHC: What is a recent project (or upcoming one) related to non-acute you are excited to work on?
Ready: With our leaders pushing to advance our position and best face the challenges of tomorrow, one cannot help but to be excited. I am thrilled to be a part of healthcare post-pandemic and fortunate enough to have been here before it. Recent efforts around the DSCA and GLN bring us back to the basics surrounding connectivity and hierarchies. I am excited to partner within my organization to develop a sustainable approach for automation that connects our process with supply chain partners.
JHC: What skills are essential for supply chain leaders today?
Ready: A sound working knowledge of information technology and how to leverage data for optimal engagements and outcomes, remains at the forefront of my mind. Empowering physicians and supply chain teams to drive meaningful change starts with quality data. The market is saturated with solutions, often not integrated or cross functional, which leaves many organizations with data patches and laborious workarounds. Automation is a true value add for our internal customers and team workflows are critical when tackling the volume of initiatives required to move an organization forward.
JHC: In your experience, what are some keys to a successful partnership between suppliers and providers?
Ready: There must be transparency and accountability on both ends of the table with a mutual understanding of business needs. Building independent and joint strategies requires a different approach to dialogue and that expands far beyond the economic and financial considerations. Due to the high volume of locations, supply chain functions for non-acute are frequently lopsided and vendor led. Organizations must be creative in their service models for these areas to improve outcomes beyond fill rates and pricing.