The healthcare market will see greater supply chain pressures in the coming year, according to GHX Europe, the healthcare service and technology company.
President Tina Vatanka Murphy highlighted the continued financial pressure on the healthcare industry. “The primary focus for EU nations continues to be reducing their deficits and coping with the financial strains this puts on all member states.
“In country markets where healthcare is predominantly publicly-funded, such as the UK and Spain, providers are focused at reducing costs away from front line care. In private-sector dominated markets, such as Germany and Switzerland, it is likely that the recent trend of consolidation will continue. For example, the Swiss hospital group Hirslanden Group now consists of 14 clinics” said Murphy.
“GHX predicts this can help increase the importance of the supply chain and the focus on reducing operational supply chain cost and inefficiency.”
“A greater focus on the supply chain will involve a deeper look at integration between different systems to ensure a greater degree of visibility,” said Murphy.
And the requirement for interoperability between systems will extend beyond individual providers or suppliers to enable benchmarking at a national and ultimately international level.
“As provider organisations stride toward new business requirements, they can consider the supply chain as a backbone – a key component of technology infrastructure – that can help capture and share the data they need,” said Murphy.
“Before the supply chain can be elevated from the level of an operational burden to the level of a strategic asset, two prerequisites must be met. The first is accurate data, and the second is visibility. Currently, there are large parts of the supply chain that are invisible to many hospitals. For example, frequently hospitals have no accurate idea of what stock they hold on site. One large UK NHS trust ‘found’ £1.7 million worth of additional stock with the aid of capable technology and improved processes.”