Healthcare transportation round table

“Skate to Where the Puck Will Be” to Improve Healthcare System Integration

MedSpeed recently published a report on the roundtable we facilitated at the 2013 Fall IDN Summit in Phoenix, AZ, the fourth in a series of symposiums we’ve conducted with healthcare supply chain leaders. We learned that most IDNs are engaged in—and some are much further along—the process of trying to figure out how to really act as integrated systems.

We discussed the strategic role that the supply chain plays in system integration, and the tangible benefits that transportation can provide for improved integration across a system. The conclusion was that an effective, reliable, centralized healthcare transportation network can help expanding systems stay physically connected.

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Connecting the Dots – Integrating Health Systems Post-Acquisition/Merger

Hospital and health system consolidations have been on the rise. The most recent statistics available indicated that there were 90 deals targeting 156 hospitals in 2011, according to “The Health Care Services Acquisition Report”, 18th Edition, by Irving Levin Associates. When the statistics for 2012 are finally tallied, an even higher number is expected.

This surge in consolidation is partially driven by provider responses to both the challenges and opportunities created by national and state healthcare reform. But mergers and consolidation also bring complex business considerations. If you add state and federal laws that can further complicate a transaction, healthcare leaders can find themselves facing even more potential obstacles.

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Healthcare transportation in 2015 and beyond: What does the future hold?

The last of my blog posts discussing our roundtable at the Fall 2012 IDN Summit covers our participants’ commentary on what the future holds for them.  What became clear from our discussion with these supply chain leaders is that health systems can no longer get by with the status quo.

Everyone acknowledged that doing things the way they’ve always been done is not a recipe for success. Health systems need to pay attention to previously overlooked areas, such as healthcare transportation, to see how they can improve and simplify the supply chain and ultimately better integrate the entire organization.

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If it’s not your core competency: Outsource it

This third installment stemming from the round table discussion with supply chain leaders that MedSpeed recently hosted is focused on outsourcing.

In our session, participants reiterated what we have heard in previous discussions: healthcare is their specialty, not transportation. Operating an in-house courier network or managing multiple third party couriers steals valuable time and resources from a health system’s ability to focus on its core competency of high quality patient care. Moreover, the shift towards outsourcing in order to become more nimble and to more effectively manage resources is thematically applicable to other non-core functions within the health system.

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The big unknown about healthcare transportation: Hidden costs

This is the second of four installments stemming from the round table discussion with supply chain leaders that MedSpeed recently hosted.

After discussing how rapidly U.S. health systems are changing and the demand of managing the supply chain amidst constant growth, the discussion moved on to another challenge faced by the supply chain leaders who participated in the discussion: that they, like most organizations, do not even know where to begin to truly understand healthcare transportation costs.

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Winds of change: As health systems expand, so must transportation operations

Here is the first of four installments stemming from the round table discussion with supply chain leaders that MedSpeed recently hosted.

One of the hottest topics the group discussed is how rapidly U.S. health systems are changing. Care is moving beyond the four walls of the hospital and health systems are growing quickly through acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

Hospitals and health systems will look very different tomorrow than they look today. Given that the reach of systems is much further than it was, managing the supply chain amidst constant growth creates a big obstacle.

What our supply chain leaders had to say, in their own words:

“I see a complexity that wasn’t there even a year or two ago. What used to be a very simple courier system

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What Do Healthcare Supply Chain Managers Think? Part II – Introduction to our second roundtable discussion

In the spring, we conducted a roundtable discussion with top healthcare supply chain leaders to discuss their healthcare transportation needs. We had a lively, two hour discussion that left us with a key takeaway: supply chain leaders are looking for ways to transform their healthcare transportation operations from a tactical, commodity-based service to a strategic asset that can help them better navigate the changing healthcare landscape.

With the rapid changes we are experiencing in healthcare, we decided to conduct a follow up to see if the discussion has changed. So, at the 2012 Fall IDN Summit in Phoenix, AZ, we gathered another group of top healthcare supply chain leaders and asked them to talk about their current supply chain and healthcare transportation needs and challenges. 

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What Do Healthcare Supply Chain Managers Think? Excerpts from a Focus Group of Supply Chain Leaders

Two weeks ago, members of my senior management team and I traveled to Orlando to attend the 2012 Spring IDN Summit. Before the summit officially kicked off, I sat down with supply chain leaders at some of the top healthcare organizations in the country to get their insight and feedback about their healthcare transportation needs. The conversation was fast and furious and a number of themes emerged. (Italicized comments below were contributed by participants and taken directly from a transcript of our session together.)

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