Five main takeaways from AHRMM21+ virtual conference

Again this year, Cardinal Health attended The Association for Health Care Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) 21+ virtual conference on September 14-16th to share and gain supply chain insights. Read below to discover our five main takeaways from the many educational sessions that were offered at the virtual conference.

  1. Clinicians should be present and invested in your supply chain

    Having clinicians involved in your decision making can bring value to your supply chain, especially when it comes to standardizing products. Having a variety of products introduces complexity, which ultimately leads to risk. Standardization of tools also enhances patient safety, savings opportunities, and clinical team efficiency. However, remember not to standardize to the point where you won’t be prepared for supply challenges. It’s also important to involve clinicians in value analysis activities. When working through whether to move forward with a new product, clinicians are integral in achieving value, optimal outcomes, and clinical efficiency.

  2. Sustainability is critical in healthcare and supply chain

    It is critical to consider sustainability when making supply chain decisions. Sustainability can be broken down into three pillars: social, economic, and environmental. Some might be surprised to hear that purchasing more sustainable products does not cost more. In fact, sustainable purchases tend to be cost-neutral or even result in net cost savings. To implement these buying shifts in your supply chain, sustainability should be an integral component of the ecosystem of a company. All parties should be aligned, especially leadership, to work towards sustainable goals. It is also important to encourage your suppliers to adopt similar values to meet your company’s goals. To ensure long-term success, develop a team involving people representing each step of the value chain who are dedicated to driving the initiative forward and tracking sustainable procurement success.

  3. Use reallocation to find savings

    Having excess product buildup on hospital shelves wastes billions of dollars every year. While excess inventory has always been an issue, it has become even worse during the pandemic. Hospitals experienced fear of shortages and as a result, stockpiled products they worried would run out, such as personal protective equipment (PPE). Advancement of technology and changes of contract also leave old and unused products on the shelves. However, implementing a reallocation strategy preserves value for your facility. Reallocation involves moving product between facilities within a system, selling product on the secondary market, or donating products to charities to make a worldwide difference. These three processes result in less waste and more money saved. The first step in implementing reallocation is to start with data. Track what you throw away to increase visibility and accountability. Then work with local clinicians and staff to increase collaboration across your health system and monitor opportunities for change at a SKU level. Work through the logistics to reallocate, whether that be move, sell, or donate. Finally, remember to repeat these implementation steps to avoid excess inventory buildup. Visit our Strategic Stock Solution webpage to learn how we can help your facility take control of your supply chain with inventory management.

  4. Improve your supply chain resiliency

    Over the past year, we’ve faced many supply challenges due to the pandemic, which have sparked conversation across the industry on how to be better prepared for future supply disruptions. Disruptions that may impact your facility could include supply shortages, product recalls, natural disasters, M&A, political and regulatory impacts, and product lifecycle. So how do we improve supply resiliency and increase reliability? Examples include advocating for government resources to health systems, and increasing trust, transparency, and predictability in the supply chain. Additionally, considering what you buy and where it comes from to diversify your supply base. Also, using proactive forecasting to identify events and vulnerabilities, and how these might impact you. Another example is creating an approach to adapt and respond to events in a timely manner and communicate through prepared channels. Finally, establishing an ongoing mitigation plan to develop a proactive strategy instead of a reactive one.

  5. Supplier diversity is beneficial for your business

    Supplier diversity drives the inclusion of diverse-owned and smaller suppliers, and results in many benefits that directly impact your facility. Having a diverse group of suppliers brings the opportunity for new perspectives and capabilities. Each supplier brings its own value, experience, and insights. This also broadens the range of unique products and services you have access to, improving your clinical outcomes. Engaging with a wider pool of suppliers also promotes competition to drive down costs and find cost-saving opportunities. Diverse suppliers deliver positive impacts on the community and demonstrate your organization’s commitment to inclusiveness. To support diverse business practices through the sourcing lifecycle you must train your team with incentives, identify diverse suppliers, and integrate diversity in the DNA of your supply chain. Talk to your medical distribution partner about how they can support your supplier diversity goals.

These five takeaways from the AHRMM21+ virtual conference can help inform your supply chain strategies. For more resources and insights on how to improve your supply chain, visit our supply chain center.

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