Elevating SCM With Clinical Leadership

Physician Leadership in Supply Chain:  Through Thorough Reflection, a Continuing Evolution toward Evidence-Based Supply Chain Management

Over the last decade industry leaders have documented the case for the health care supply chain management function as part of an integrated delivery system management strategy.  One important characteristic of this effort is the recognition that other sectors have matured as a result of attention to their supply chains and the  elevation of supply chain management roles into the executive suite http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/supply-chain-s-evolution-from-the-basement-to-the-executive-suite.html.  It is noteworthy that a growing number of CEOs, CFOs, and supply chain executives, themselves, recognize that the elevation of the supply chain function and adoption of progressive health sector supply chain management practices may not, in itself, lead to excellence in clinical and managerial practice.  While there is a great deal of discussion about how to best move ahead, progressive systems recognize that dedicated physician involvement in the supply chain processes has the potential to further advance health care system goals to meet the triple aim which involves lower cost, outstanding quality and improved population health.

There is little precedent for action by physicians who are tapped to engage the supply chain.  Best practices do not yet exist and the boundaries for the role remain unspecified.  Unconstrained by precedent, those entering the role are finding a significant “white space” upon in which they can bring together their clinical, analytic, managerial and analytic talents.  It is our hope that this discussion board will evolve as a place to clarify the “secret sauce” within physician-led supply chain practice.  It appears that being tapped for such a role quickly leads to the physician supply chain leader recognizing the strengths that they bring to the role – but also an awareness of their lack of familiarity with supply chain principles and practices.

Our initial observation is that physician supply chain leaders are able to reflect on the appropriateness and volume of the materials employed in practice, work with fellow clinicians in product identification and standardization, and create an environment that provides for a reflective practice of supply chain.  Reflection considers the needs of both patients and fellow clinicians while appropriately considering concerns for the fiscal sustainability of the health care system.  Reflection also allows for clinician engagement with suppliers and others who influence practice through innovation in the materials environment.  https://www.ghdonline.org/designing-provider-incentives/idea/demand-based-purchasing/  Interestingly, just as evidence based medicine has evolved as the gold standard for assessing health care value, the findings from evidence based medicine, appropriately interpreted by physician supply chain leaders, is evolving the gold standard for evidence based supply chain practice.

Posted by: Jim & Gene




1 Responses to “Elevating SCM With Clinical Leadership”

  • Jim and Gene,
    Thanks for your excellent posting. I agree with your conclusions, as do many others. There is a growing consensus that Evidence Based Practice is necessary to maintain and improve the quality of health care as well as patient outcomes.
    A consensus statement on this topic was published today in the JAMA Open Network by Albarqouni, et al. in an article titled, “Core Competencies in Evidence-Based Practice for Health Professionals”. A multistage, modified Delphi Survey was performed to develop a set of 68 core competencies in Evidence Based Practice for health care professionals. Here is the formal citation:
    Albarqouni L, Hoffmann T, Straus S, et al. Core Competencies in Evidence-Based Practice for Health ProfessionalsConsensus Statement Based on a Systematic Review and Delphi Survey. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(2):e180281. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0281.

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