Healthcare Logistics and Transportation: Industry growth that delivers value

Since MedSpeed’s inception, we’ve believed in the important role healthcare logistics and transportation can play in the healthcare industry. A recent global report about the growth of the healthcare transportation services market studies that question.

According to the 151-page report for an analysis conducted by IndustryARC, healthcare transportation/logistics is a burgeoning business with significant projected growth. IndustryARC estimates that the global healthcare transportation services market will reach $93.2 billion in 2021. That reflects a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.17% from $73.48 billion in 2015.

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Prepared to Care

This week, May 12-18, is National Hospital Week. The American Hospital Association began celebrating National Hospital week more than 90 years ago to “celebrate the history, technology and dedicated professionals” in hospitals.

This year’s theme for National Hospital Week is “Prepared to Care.” The 60-second video that the AHA put together on their website, speaks to how those who work in hospitals are called to serve and care.

While we at MedSpeed are not officially part of a hospital, the role that our Logistic Service Representatives (LSRs) play is very much part of the hospital’s chain of care. Our LSRs have daily interaction with hospital staff members and their outstanding efforts show how dedicated and “prepared to care” they are.

This year, at the end of March—as sometimes happens here in the Midwest—there was a snowstorm that created terrible road conditions.  Our LSR, Rick Warburton was trying to maneuver around some of the other cars, but lost traction and ended up off the road. 

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What the Future Holds for Healthcare

This year, 2013, will be an incredibly busy year in healthcare. With just one more year before the largest parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) take effect, healthcare organizations are preparing for the biggest changes in healthcare in more than a generation.

Since the actual legislation is 900+ pages, I don’t know too many people who have read the entire thing. That is probably why there have been a plethora of summaries published since the act passed.

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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? 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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What a Waste – Up to $1 Trillion Annually is Wasted in Healthcare

As healthcare reform transitions from an abstract idea to a foregone conclusion, healthcare leaders are focused on uncovering inefficiencies in their systems.  Instead of merely slashing reimbursements or providing less care, we have a clear opportunity to do more — and provide the right care — with less waste and less spending. I recently read Mark Graban and Rob Harding’s article Cut Costs by Reducing Redundant or Inefficient Activity, in Hospitals & Health Networks, and agree with them that there is even more hidden waste to cut.

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Changing the Conversation

I strongly believe that healthcare transportation is one of the missing links in healthcare today – a missing link in improving care quality, accountability and the patient experience.  Seeing articles in the news about healthcare transportation gives me confidence that perhaps I am not the only one with that belief.

One such article from the May 2011 cover story of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting titled “Get on the Move!” by Robert Handfield, Ph.D, was especially interesting. In the article, Dr. Handfield reveals the results of his survey of Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and Healthcare systems, as well as in-depth interviews conducted with executives and providers. His goal in conducting the study was to learn more about how healthcare leaders satisfy their transportation needs and develop a recommended methodology for tackling this important issue.

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