Healthcare supply chain management can be a daunting job due to its fragmented nature. It is where control of the supply chain of healthcare is essential for organizations. Supply chain management in healthcare includes planning, designing, implementing, monitoring and tracking the movement of products and services.


This allows greater net value to be generated, supply to be matched with demand, sustainability to be achieved with efficient logistic force and performance measurement. Healthcare supply chain software streamlines the sourcing of medical equipment, inventory control and the control of total spending. The software also encourages and facilitates accountability among primary care providers, ancillary care providers, and non-acute care providers in the types of services and procedures they offer patients.

What is the healthcare supply chain management?

Supply chain management is similar to all others in the healthcare sector. It's supply management from one place to the next. The supply chain for health care begins at a supplier of medical supplies, where items are manufactured and sent to a distribution center. The product will be scanned, processed, or sent out from the distribution center and then sent to the right organization or hospital. The hospital is responsible for managing its supply chain to healthcare from there.

The healthcare supply chain management allows stakeholders such as manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to ease the ordering and receiving of medical services and goods. Using this program, doctors, nurses and medical professionals can automate activities related to the manual, time-consuming supply chain, utilize workflows and business intelligence to reduce costs, and eventually enhance care delivery. Additionally, tools for the healthcare supply chain allows hospitals and physician practices to adhere and provide value-based care.

Recent developments in the healthcare supply chain management technology


RFID is progressively advancing to asset monitoring, inventory control, and supply chain management in the sector such as health care and pharmaceutical. Inventory management, in particular, uses RFID technology to monitor the displacement of medication, medical supplies, along with reducing mistakes and ensuring better patient safety. RFID believes that people support this idea of a smart cabinet to get a better solution for medical treatment.

Hospitals can send their requirements directly to retailers, suppliers, and distributors with help from Radio-frequency identification technology. It provides superior consistency in the supply chain process. The approach also offers an adequate system that can allow for a safer healthcare service.


Healthcare supply chain management barcodes illustrate their true power through their function in allowing common formats and promoting data centers to exchange reliable, real-time information between trading partners. Advanced supply chain companies today use a mix of RFID tags and readers, barcode labels and handheld long-range scanners to improve the speed and ease of data collection to track inventory.

By integrating barcode and RFID data capture methods with relational database software, supply chain organizations can increase the efficiency and precision of their operations, including identifying, retrieving and paying for everything that moves inside or outside the facility.

Supply chain companies using mobile barcode and RFID technologies will increase turnover and maximize inventory, as well as enhance the efficiency of their manufacturing, ordering and/or shipping operations. If productivity is substantially increased, resources can be re-allocated to tasks of higher value or more critical areas.

Healthcare supply chain management industry trends

A Clinically-Integrated Supply Chain

A supply chain called "clinically integrated" is key to success. Professionals in the supply chain and physicians work closely together, sharing information, comparing outcomes and making educated decisions. Physicians use a supply chain professional partnership to provide feedback on price points, conditions, and alternatives.

Automation reduces order errors which cost suppliers and providers through inaccurate invoices, payments, and products. An automated process helps providers and manufacturers to easily spot inconsistencies, resolving issues in real-time. In the supply chain, we can only control about 20 percent of the cost without the participation of the clinicians. The relationship between physicians and the supply chain practitioners directly affects the supply chain in promoting patient care.

Healthcare Supply Chain Management and AI

Artificial intelligence has the capacity for massive transformation in the healthcare industry. Far from making computers make decisions about diagnosis or treatment options, however, other future advancements address the more basic aspects of managing health care facilities and personnel that affect one of modern medicine's greatest problems — cost control.

Artificial intelligence holds the potential for a monumental transformation of the healthcare industry. Far from having computers make decisions about diagnosis or treatment options, however, other horizon advances tackle the more basic aspects of managing health care facilities and personnel that impact one of the main challenges in modern medicine — cost control.

The primary use for artificial intelligence in healthcare is to collect data from the real-time supply chain, exploit the knowledge to create insights for predicting what might happen in the future, and then administer solutions for those anticipated events. Predictive analytics will notify when preventive maintenance is needed for a medical vehicle in your fleet. This could raise concerns about potential storage of materials as well as weather-related or even political disruption.

Supply chain and customer service — adapting to patient expectations

As consumers pay greater shares of health-care costs, price transparency has increased in value. Supply chain executives are constantly focusing on customer service to connect and interact more directly with patients about their healthcare. Additionally, when trying to reach out to societies, telehealth is becoming a more prevalent method.

Telehealth services are increasing patient access to treatment in several different ways. Telehealth is also a way for hospitals to access data, beyond accessing patients remotely. Technology plays an important part in the consumer experience. From a supply chain viewpoint, the legacy systems and old data cannot be integrated into modern technologies.

Leaders in the supply chain must adjust to the changing healthcare climate to help move their organizations forward. Strong leaders will continually look ahead to what patients and caregivers need to ensure the highest quality of care.

Healthcare supply chain management: In a nutshell

Healthcare supply chain management automation enables market innovation that has never been seen before. Automation allows a product to be tracked through individual patient results from its roots. The data generated by tracing all of that information is essential to cost reduction. Advanced data analytics helps healthcare providers to make better operations management decisions and to forecast demand accurately.

Free Valuable Insights: Global Healthcare Supply Chain Management Market to reach a market size of USD 3 billion by 2025

Annually, hospitals can save millions of dollars simply by strengthening their supply chains. The rapidly evolving healthcare sector has encouraged companies to create supply chain models that can satisfy the demands for pharmaceutical and medical devices. This allows companies to improve the management of the healthcare supply chain and exploit its advantage to transform speed, flexibility, quality, and durability across the entire value chain to outsmart the competition.

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