Healthcare supply chain management:
With globalization taking over international trade, supply chain networks have become more complex than ever. Organizations today aim to compete against each and bring down costs by bringing as much efficiency as possible in their supply chains.
Supply chain includes all the business partners and stakeholders that help deliver a product to the final customer beginning from obtaining the raw materials needed to produce it. Businesses aim to cut costs and time taken for the delivery without compromising on the quality.
Healthcare supply chain management refers to obtaining and distributing products and services related to the healthcare industry to the final customer.
Impact of supply chain management in healthcare products:
When talking about supply chain in healthcare industry, its management becomes even more critical and complex. Given the nature of the industry supply chain management becomes especially difficult. Expiration of products, demand management of different product categories, hoarding supply restrictions, legal compliances and unforeseen changes in international trade environment make the market highly volatile.
Along with that, the nature of healthcare products is such that it is extremely important to ensure that the product reaches the final customer without being tampered and in optimum condition. Companies that specialize in healthcare logistics aim to accomplish the process by deploying latest technological innovations into their systems.
Technology helps in smooth and uninterrupted flow of products to the customer as well as information to and from different value chain partners.
In healthcare industry, efficient supply chain network is not a USP or an added advantage, rather it is a necessity. Delivering important medical products and devices cannot be late as they are used for saving lives of patients.
Healthcare delivery systems, hence, have to take into account factors such as efficient storage, minimizing wastage, inventory management, sanitation and on-time delivery.
Healthcare logistics companies exist to effectively manage the complex supply chain networks of the industry. While the hospitals perform the tasks that they are meant for, these companies specialize in medical supplies delivery so as to help hospitals run smoothly and without interruptions.
Important considerations in delivery of healthcare products:
Having the right supplier of medical products is very important for any hospital or healthcare facility. A medical courier service provider that applies best practices in its systems that help in on-time and safe delivery of products is absolutely desirable.
The practices include those pertaining to delivery of pharmaceutical drugs and medicines. These are not simply bottles of pills that are conveniently transported from one place to another. Rather, there are a number of compliances and procedures that need to be followed for the delivery.
Packaging should also be good enough to hinder and tampering as well as impact of sunlight and humidity. Certain medical drugs and equipment require cooler temperatures.
A refrigerated vehicle that maintains optimum temperature for the delivery shall be useful. Furthermore, surgical tools and instruments need to be extremely safe and secure.
Great precaution needs to be taken with regard to such equipments’ sterilization during transportation. Seal packaging and vacuum-sealed pouches are helpful that are free from tears and holes.
Sterile bags and cases give an additional level of protection. Maintaining optimum temperature while delivering surgical instruments is also very important that protect the equipment from sunlight and humidity. Moisture in these equipments can possibly contaminate them, making them futile before they are even used.
Larger machinery and equipment such as X-ray machines, MRI scanners and ventilators are more specialized and have lots of fragile parts that need to be well taken care of during transportation.
Similarly, mobility equipment such as wheel chairs also need to be handled with care.
If the equipment is transported in dismantled condition it should be placed in a way that its parts are easily unloaded and delivered to the designated place.
As much as facilities and delivery equipment are important, having trained personnel is equally crucial. Those who are responsible for the safe delivery of medical equipment must know how to skillfully handle the fragile products.
They must be trained to handle, unload and in some cases, assemble the equipment proficiently without causing any damage.