Collaboration – the Key to Reducing Healthcare Supply Disruptions

Culture & Technology

The key to transparency is not just providing a one-to-many hub for information sharing, but to envelop the exercise within a community of stakeholders and advisors to shape the culture and education around it.

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Patients depend on healthcare supplies for lifesaving and life sustaining care. Yet supply chain disruptions wreak havoc on healthcare supply chains, and exacerbate the anxiety placed upon patients, and their providers, who require reliable access to medical goods to deliver safe and affordable care.

For many healthcare providers, the need to manage supply risks better became clear in September 2017 when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, severely disrupting biotech, pharma, and medical device supplies. Most healthcare providers were taken completely off-guard, not knowing that many of their critical supplies depended on factories consolidated in one geography.

Some healthcare providers initiated a supply chain risk program in the aftermath of the natural disaster. Healthcare supply chain leaders sought to better understand the nature of their upstream supply chain, where critical goods are produced, and mitigations in place. However, outreach was siloed, with each health system making its own request. Suppliers become inundated with waves of requests in all different forms. As a result, information sharing was slow.

That changed in 2019 with the launch of the Healthcare Industry Resilience Collaborative (HIRC), an industry-wide non-profit of more than 65 leading healthcare providers and trading partners. HIRC formed a community committed to improving resiliency of the healthcare supply chain through collaboration and alignment to best practice and standards.

The pandemic of 2020 through present has heightened the need for collaboration. The pace and impact of disruption continues to compound stressors to the supply chain and complicates the task of providing the best possible care to patients.

HIRC’s positive culture of partnership and transparency is key to successful collaboration. HIRC’s position statement on supply resiliency emphasizes the responsibility of healthcare providers and suppliers to work together to solve for prevention, reliability, and optimization.

Providers and suppliers come together regularly for candid and collaborative exchange of ideas. Current HIRC initiatives address resiliency scorecarding, KPI, mapping, monitoring, risk assessment, and healthcare data exchange. Solutioning is agile, iterative, and creative.

Early its development, HIRC leadership recognized the need for affordable, reliable, and flexible supply chain risk management platform to support its mission. Supply Risk Solutions (SRS) was selected as HIRC’s preferred service because of strong alignment of culture, flexibility to develop software specific to healthcare, and commitment to solving for supply chain resiliency as a service to the interest of humanity, not investors.

SRS has been engaged as a partner since day one. SRS and HIRC are aligned on the belief that the path to a more transparent and resilient supply chain must put the needs of the patient first, period.

Providers and suppliers prioritize SRS software enhancements, resulting in continuous improvement of features customized to healthcare and exceptional ease-of-use. SRS has a patented risk prevention program that enables suppliers to cut production disruptions by 60% on average. SRS supports supplier risk prevention with complementary services focused on prevention. As providers know first-hand, prevention beats treatment.

“The SRS team is completely aligned with our founding mission to improve patients’ lives through supply chain transparency and resilience,” says Jesse Schafer, Executive Director of HIRC. “SRS brings a unique approach that prioritizes software flexibility, supplier trust, and risk prevention.”

While HIRC’s use of technology is non-exclusive, the SRS platform is uniquely aligned. SRS has been part of HIRC’s journey since its formation in 2019 and became an official collaborator and sponsor in 2022.

“Gaining provider input and supplier trust have been key,” says Patrick Brennan, CEO and founder of SRS. “Providers are our product designers, and we treat suppliers as our customers. Suppliers have complete control over their data and gain access to resources to improve resiliency and strengthen their customer relationships.”

HIRC is the first and only non-profit collaborative focused exclusively on healthcare supply chain resiliency. SRS is the only supply chain risk management platform with broad support from the healthcare community based on volume and longevity of provider and supplier satisfaction.

Resiliency has become a top priority for all organizations. Healthcare organizations at any stage of their resiliency journey can benefit from getting involved with the HIRC community using the contact information below.

ABOUT THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY RESILIENCE COLLABORATIVE (HIRC)

HIRC’s mission is to increase resiliency of critical healthcare supply chains through industry engagement and best practice. HIRC’s vision is a transparent and resilient supply chain achieved through cooperative efforts of providers and suppliers. HIRC’s core values are partnership, communication, and transparency. HIRC is a big-tent collaboration and non-exclusive. Members may choose any technology or no technology at all. Visit HIRC at http://www.hircstrong.com to learn more.

ABOUT SUPPLY RISK SOLUTIONS (SRS)

SRS is the first cloud-based supply chain risk software company, founded in 2007 in Silicon Valley. HIRC chose SRS as its recommended platform for its members in 2019, and SRS has since become a HIRC collaborator and sponsor. SRS meets weekly with HIRC members, who prioritize enhancements to tailor SRS to healthcare industry needs. SRS is committed to HIRC’s mission of improving patient lives through supply chain transparency and risk prevention. Visit SRS at http://www.supplyrisk.com to learn more.

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