Kyle Brauer

PharmD, MBA, pharmacy supply chain manager | BayCare Health System

JHC: What is the most interesting/challenging project you’ve worked on recently?  

Kyle Brauer: The most challenging project has been the ongoing efforts with centralizing the system-wide pharmacy purchasing operations.

Centralized buyers were hired and on-boarded in mid-2019 which provided the ability to transition all of the 14 BayCare hospitals to a central model by the beginning of 2020. Since that time, the focus has been on standardizing inventory management practices, communication pathways, and product selection across the health system.

The culture shift towards off-site procurement and standardized practices has tested my change management skills. The conversion proved to be well-timed.

I attribute a lot of our success in maintaining inventory during the COVID-19 pandemic to the ability to think and manage from a central standpoint.

JHC:  What projects are you looking forward to in the next six to 12 months? 

Brauer: I anticipate the biggest project over the next six to 12 months will be optimizing pharmacy inventory to a new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a large strain on supply chains, which has created the incentive to maintain a higher level of safety stock.

As operations trend back to a pre-pandemic baseline, it will be important to reset some of these inventory measures.

There will need to be a balance between maintaining some of the resiliency currently built into the system while also paring down stock to get closer to a just-in-time model.

JHC:  What is the biggest challenge/change facing health care supply chain professionals in the next 5 years?  

Brauer: The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered an overdependence on foreign supply chains. I believe there will continue to be a focus on internalizing more manufacturing in the United States. I view this as a positive direction; however, we need to be mindful about going too far and creating an overreliance on internal supply chains.

In the next 5 years, we will be facing some dynamic changes in the supply chains that will require increased focus on aspects that may have been less important beforehand and the adaptability to meet these new changes.

JHC:  What are your current professional goals?  

Brauer: My current professional goal is to continue to climb my professional career ladder and become a chief supply chain officer for a health system.

I am eager to continue learning more about supply chains outside of my current scope of pharmacy. I want to make sure I continue to challenge myself with new and interesting projects.

JHC:  What one thing makes you most proud? 

Brauer: During my post-graduate training in pharmacy leadership, I had the opportunity to manage a transition from one group purchasing organization (GPO) to another. The project forced me out of my comfort zone and presented me with a lot of unique experiences.

I had the pleasure of communicating with pharmacy leadership across the health system to prepare for and implement changes coming from the GPO transition. That project sparked my passion in supply chain management.

I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on such an impactful project early on in my career.

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