Transforming the Healthcare Supply Chain Increases Visibility and Provides Greater Value for Patients, Healthcare Leaders, Industry and Governments

Transforming the Healthcare Supply Chain Increases Visibility and Provides Greater Value for Patients, Healthcare Leaders, Industry and Governments.

Preventable medical error is the 3rd leading cause of death in North America.

October 3, 2016 - A ground breaking study released today by the World Health Innovation Network has found that enhanced supply chain processes, based on global standards, can save lives. Adoption of these processes by Canadian hospitals and health organizations will significantly reduce injuries and deaths caused by preventable medical error, the 3rd leading cause of death in North America. These errors include medication error, surgical adverse events, allergic reactions to medications and complications of hospitalization.  

The report calls on support from governments at the federal, provincial and territorial levels. Governments currently do not have necessary policy frameworks in Canada that enable traceability of products used in healthcare processes from the manufacturer to patients across health systems to ensure safety and quality care outcomes for patients.

“Health organizations do not have the digital tools and infrastructure required to enable clinicians to offer automated ‘double-checks’ and alerts to proactively manage, prevent and protect patients from harm,” explains Dr. Anne Snowdon, RN, Strategy Professor at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business, “And health system leaders do not have the expertise in supply chain logistics and management, that other industry executives have so this will require support from industry and government to build capacity across health systems”.

The Report, Visibility: The New Value Proposition for Health Systems, was produced after 2 years of research by Dr Snowdon. It includes in-depth interviews with over 50 Canadian experts, a detailed review of hospital and government records, and the inclusion of prior Canadian and international research. The 76 page report recommends that senior hospital administrators and government policy makers adopt GS1 global standards and supply chain systems used by industry to eliminate preventable medical error.

 

The Report has 6 specific recommendations:

  1. Create provincial policy and regulatory frameworks to require adoption of GS1 global standards in Canada to guide supply chain transformation across healthcare systems.
  2. Invest in infrastructure integrating automated, digital tracking tools and devices in clinical settings to transform healthcare environments.
  3. Establish a national product registry that holds accurate and up-to-date data on all healthcare products.
  4. Build health system supply chain leadership capacity by leveraging the expertise and experience from other sectors.
  5. Design and implement a supply chain visibility scorecard that measures progress towards achieving visibility for healthcare systems.
  6. Develop a national, legislative supply chain framework to align with other global jurisdictions to maintain Canada’s viability as an international market and partner.

 

The full report, Visibility: The New Value Proposition for Health Systems, can be accessed here.

The World Health Innovation Network (WIN) is dedicated to optimizing healthcare delivery through research, knowledge transfer and the application of strategic business initiatives. It was launched in 2015 by the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business.