Data, analytics top priorities for supply chain leaders in 2018

In a survey conducted by Global Healthcare Exchange, some of the top providers for supply chain performance said making better use of data would be their No. 1 priority this year, either through expanded analytics or standardizing their data process across the organization.

Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) limited their survey to the organizations on its “Best 50” list, which honors hospitals and health systems which scored highly on measures like “maximizing document automation, Exchange utilization and trading partner connections during the 2017 calendar year.” Among the honorees for 2018 were Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Stanford Health Care and Michigan Medicine.

Respondents were asked to identify their top three targets for supply chain outcomes in 2018. The most commonly chosen areas were:

  •         Data and analytics for better decision making (59 percent)
  •          Standardization of data and business process across the organization (53 percent)
  •          Contract optimization (47 percent)
  •          Driving integration across supply chain business and clinical processes (42 percent)
  •          Broader management of non-labor spend (29 percent)

“Supply chain leaders understand how critical quality data is to solving the large issues of cost, quality, and outcomes in healthcare,” Bruce Johnson, president and CEO of GHX, said in a statement. “Every year we initiate a dialogue with our customers about what is most critical to them in solving the cost quality equation. There is consensus among this elite group that quality data is critical to steering their organizations’ decision making, but that it also has the ability to improve the efficiency of business processes and is at the heart of linking business and clinical processes.”

Some of the initiatives these organizations will undertake to meet these goals, according to GHX, include new procurement and order processing strategies, clinical system integration and bringing newly acquired hospitals and clinics into established supply chains.

The focus on data should be of little surprise to financial and supply chain professionals. At a recent presentation at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas, Goshen Health CFO Amy Floria said offering additional data to physicians on the costs of supplies and certain habits in obtaining them—like showing how often rush ordering supplies was unnecessary—led many doctors to rethink their approach and not fall back on their old ways.

“So one way to meet your benchmark objective is just let the data lead you to the answer,” Floria said.