Fortifying the HealthcareSupply Chain

Supply chain stakeholders discuss the value of strategic partnerships among suppliers and providers.

June 2024 – The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

At this year’s IDN Insights East event, attendees converged in Atlanta, Georgia to get better insight from supply chain executives on how to build better partnerships between providers and suppliers in the healthcare supply sector.

Here is a brief overview of what was discussed at IDN Insights East, sponsored by Allergan Aesthetics.

Insight into supply chain excellence

This year, panelists from major IDNs discussed their journeys to supply chain excellence at their organizations.

Dan Hurry, the president of Advantus Health Partners and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Bon Secours Mercy Health, covered how his team modeled their approach to supply chain resiliency by looking at how major department stores in the United States approach their supply chain operations.

For Henry Ford Health, VP of Operations Joe Pettinato shared how his organization has driven excellence by focusing on high density items and physician preference items, allowing Henry Ford Health to better prepare for any disruptions in the supply chain than before.

Donna Drummond, SVP and Chief Expense Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer for Northwell Health, offered a deep dive into her organization, discussed the insight they derive from their value analysis team that allows them to keep their med/surg supply spend at 27%.

Building strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships are the lifeblood of the healthcare supply chain, ensuring that all the needs of the providers and suppliers are met, while also meeting the needs of their communities and patients.

In a session with Pam Daigle, the GVP Strategic Sourcing for Premier, and Rusty Parker, senior director Supply Chain Management, Methodist Le Bonheur Health, they discussed the importance for preparing the healthcare supply chain for the long game through strategic partnerships.

Parker said, “From a supplier standpoint, it is all about understanding what our goals and objectives are organizationally and how we can truly partner together, not just to get a new product on the shelf and pump up your sales numbers.”

Strategic partnerships start with a basic understanding of each other. If a supplier is coming in to sell to a provider, they need to understand the challenges and goals of those providers. A significant part of the goals and values of any IDN in the country is to meet the needs of and treat the patients in their communities – while each provider might have a similar mission and approach, each community’s needs will look different.

For Northwell Health, Drummond said, “We’ve made a commitment to understand our community’s sustainability needs and include them in our resiliency preparedness. We’re a member of Premier for pharmaceuticals and food but all our other contracts are Northwell alliance contracts that benefit all our hospitals as well as hospitals and other organizations that aren’t a part of the Northwell Health system.” 

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