Deep in the breadbasket of Americaâ€™s
Bible Belt, the C-suite at the five-hospital Greenville (SC) Health System
clearly viewed Supply Chain as a critical piece of a larger puzzle that when
completed would display a panoramic vista for patients on what a successful
multi-hospital system looks like. Back in 2006, however, Supply Chain struggled
to stitch itself together as a mini puzzle within the larger one. But it found
ways to deliver, earning the 2013 Supply Chain Department of the Year
As America continues to claw its
way out of a recessionary economy that left an indelible stain on free-market
capitalism for the risk-averse in particular, healthcare supply chain
professionals seem to be weathering any fiscal aftershocks better than expected.
In fact, for the second consecutive year, average supply chain salaries
comfortably outpaced traditional inflationary increases.
The rapidly changing
healthcare landscape is necessitating a multitude of changes in patient
monitoring. As hospitals work to deliver higher quality patient care at a
lower cost, medical device and diagnostics companies are adapting their
technologies to satisfy a healthcare industry that strives to be more
connected through the electronic collection, transfer and integration of
patient data into the electronic medical record (EMR) and other
people enter a hospital, they expect to leave healthier and not succumb to
another, perhaps more serious, illness acquired during their hospital stay. If
their illness is part of an epidemic, their life and others may be lost while
the source is being tracked down. Once upon a time, tracing an epidemic to its
source was laborious and time-consuming. Not anymore.
The basic form and function of
the medical supply cart continues to serve as a "toolbox" of sorts, bringing
medications and supplies to the point of care. But as patient care becomes
increasingly digitized, workstations must offer more specialized
functionalities and play more active roles in care delivery, particularly to
help facilities implement electronic medical records and/or meet Meaningful
Use standards set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.