Health systems continue to rely on distribution

There may be a buzz around consolidated service centers. But according to the Health Industry Distributors Association, most health systems continue to depend on healthcare distributors to access products.

HIDA surveyed 171 IDN executives in 2017 to learn how systems will approach supply chain strategy in the coming years. The results were published earlier this year in a HIDA Horizon Report. Among the findings:

  • 90 percent of systems surveyed use a prime vendor distributor to acquire med/surg supplies.
  • 73 percent said they obtain “all or most” med/surg supplies from distributors.
  • 76 percent purchase a “few or some” supplies direct from manufacturers.
  • 10 percent purchase “most or all” supplies direct.
  • 40 percent plan to increase their reliance on distribution.

Many (71 percent) of surveyed health systems perform some internal distribution of med/surg supplies to care settings within their organizations, according to the HIDA report. The leading sites to which systems deliver med/surg supplies are:

  • Hospital (49 percent).
  • Laboratory (49 percent).
  • Physician office/clinic (49 percent).
  • Imaging center (46 percent).

When asked if they will build a new supply chain facility in the next three years:

  • 7 percent said yes, they will build a consolidated service center.
  • 8 percent said yes, they will build a distribution center.
  • 28 percent said they are “not sure” about building a CSC.
  • 18 percent said they are “not sure” about building a DC.
  • 65 percent said they will not build a CSC.
  • 74 percent said they will not build a DC.

For more information on the 2018 Horizon Report, “Health System Supply Chain Strategies,” contact HIDA at www.hida.org.