Over the last two-plus years, the COVID pandemic has altered our nation’s healthcare in huge, fundamental ways. But there were also more subtle things that changed – or didn’t change.
For instance, supply chain teams across U.S. hospitals and health systems had to put on hold whatever projects and initiatives they had been working on to combat the disruptions and urgent needs of providing lifesaving supplies for our caregivers.
As director of procurement, supply chain shared services / innovation at HonorHealth, Joseph Bates was working on a project of moving the non-acute to a different platform for ordering to give them a user-friendly Amazon type shopping experience when the pandemic hit. Obviously, that project was delayed as he and his team shifted to their pandemic response. But now Bates said he is looking forward to using the tools that this new platform gives his organization: looking at order efficiencies, opportunities for savings, and using those formularies to drive savings or to create standardization. “And then working with the non-acute clinical staff to find better ways to track inventory, and give us more visibility to some of those products that we lost sight of over the last couple of years amid the pandemic,” he told us in this issue’s cover story as we recognize some of the top non-acute supply chain leaders in the industry.
Dawn Wells, senior director, supply chain, for Northwell Health, said she is looking forward to supporting the continued growth of her organization’s ambulatory network in many different areas. “We are relaunching many of our [Value Analysis Team] activities that were put on hold due to COVID and I am looking forward to working with our teams to achieve savings and create processes to align our non- acute facilities to our GPO agreements.” She is also excited about their sustainability and supplier diversity program. “We are embarking on an initiative to ‘green the ambulatory’ which will serve as an opportunity to align with system initiatives around the health impacts of climate change. I am a champion for supplier diversity and have been very lucky to lead and grow our supplier diversity initiatives for the past 10 years.”
Indeed, it’s good to hear more and more of these stories of momentum coming back to supply chain initiatives. We hope you enjoy this issue of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.