Supply chain priorities for 2023: 4 leaders weigh in

After more than two years of disruptions and high demand, supply chain leaders are taking the lessons learned in the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen their supply chain in hopes of preventing issues from resurfacing.

Becker's asked four supply chain leaders what their top priorities are for 2023:

Editor's note: responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Steve Downey. Chief Supply Chain and Patient Support Services Officer for Cleveland Clinic: We have three goals in financial, resiliency and workforce optimization:

  • Financial pressures are severe in most healthcare organizations. Our focus is on price, efficiency and use, driving savings through smart sourcing, being efficient across how we operate and being cognizant of how products are being used clinically.

  • Resiliency means ensuring we have the least number of disruptions to our clinical processes as possible. In 2022, we saw record numbers of supply disruptions and we're working to minimize that in 2023.

  • Workforce optimization means maximizing the efficiency of our workforce across operations and clinical labor, freeing up clinical time, using automation, and investing in training and retention.

Motz Feinberg. Vice President of Supply Chain. Cedars-Sinai Health System (Los Angeles): Continuing to deliver value through economic and operational challenges, while engaging a workforce that is depleted from the last three years our industry and country have endured, is our overall theme in supply chain. We are addressing these challenges by focusing on three key areas:

  • First, ensuring patient care through a resiliency program across our health system and in collaboration with key suppliers.

  • Second, delivering financial value through innovative decision support capabilities, clinical engagement through a new lens and revised supplier partnerships. 

  • Third, building for the future, including a digital transformation, scaling technologies and services where possible, and fortifying our teams and leadership models.

Burton Fuller. Chief Supply Chain Officer for Johns Hopkins Health System (Baltimore): Our organization, like most, is mitigating the rising costs of operations and ongoing staffing challenges. In such a paradigm, high-impact change management efforts can flourish. We are redesigning the structures, processes and accountability models that govern each modality of our supply chain (operations, procurement, sourcing, etc.) to implement and realize margin improvements. This includes:

  • Integrating each area of supply chain operations across our hospitals into the corporate structure to enable consistent inventory management processes, measurement of productivity and staffing levels.

  • We are catalyzing our efforts to standardize supply management processes by launching a new, standardized point of use solution in 2023 across our medsurg areas.

  • As back orders and disruptions continue to plague supply chain, we are launching a mobile app in January developed in partnership with our colleagues in IT that will provide end users access to disruptions that impact their inventory locations and orders.

  • We have a large, consolidated services center that we have successfully deployed for the distribution of medsurg supplies. In 2023, we are working to partner with a strategic supplier(s) of implants and/or other devices to centralize the ordering and management of implants in a pilot effort to create and share in operational cost efficiencies.

Jacquelyn Marcus. Vice President for Supply Chain Management for NYU Langone Health (New York City): The top priorities all relate to adapting to the new reality of the global supply chain. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted the way hospitals, including NYU Langone, have approached supply chain. Rather than stockpiling supplies, hospitals tended to order merchandise for just-in-time deliveries and immediate use. COVID-19 turned that model upside down and we have since pivoted to a hybrid model where many of our supplies and personal protective equipment are ordered in bulk and stored in warehouses to ensure an uninterrupted supply.

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