With Baby Boomers retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day and ongoing uncertainty surrounding healthcare regulations, logistics in the medical industry has never been more important.
The spectrum of items falling under healthcare logistics is broad, including prescription drugs, surgical devices, supplies, fixtures, furniture and biological materials such as human tissue or blood.
The growing demand for logistics in home-based healthcare and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals is contributing to the demand for focused logistics solutions in the health and medical industry.
For most of these items, time is of the essence, whether products shipped are supplies required by a hospital or medical devices used in patients’ homes.
With insurance markets and government reimbursement plans subject to changes, medical professionals are focusing on reducing costs and capturing efficiencies where they can be more effectively controlled – in their supply chain.
Not too long ago, many healthcare organizations viewed logistics as an afterthought, simply a way to stock products well enough to avoid shortages and overages.
Today, with a growing emphasis on efficiency as well as effectiveness, companies are taking a closer look at inbound freight, internal logistics network expenses, inventory holding costs, loss/expiration, and service levels at the point of use as part of the overall cost to serve.
For healthcare manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products, logistics represents a significant opportunity to create a competitive advantage through decreasing operating costs, increasing operational efficiency and improving customer service.
The traditional healthcare supply chain was engineered over time with multiple distribution channels and intermediaries, resulting in a fragmented network. That leads healthcare organizations to accumulate safety stock and engage in other inefficient practices.
An Enterprise Logistics Provider can employ a best-in-class transportation management system to provide visibility throughout the supply chain and enable product tracking from point of origin to consumption. Deeper understanding of product consumption patterns affords managers a greater ability to forecast ordering and shipping demands.
For time-critical items such as medical test kits or surgical devices, a finely tuned parcel network is vital to keeping commitments.
Hospital systems are investing in building out clinical locations to be closer to the patient base, which increases the logistical complexity for the supply chain. To meet goals of providing more patient-centric care, the supply chain network must meet the needs of not only the institutional hospital, but also ambulatory, clinical and homecare settings.
Transportation Insight can help improve your network by identifying optimal transportation modes and lanes for your time-sensitive small-package shipments. It’s a simple and powerful way to reduce handling costs and improve margins.
The prognosis for healthcare organizations suffering from high costs and inefficiencies is good, with relief coming from improving supply chain and distribution processes. The result: improved patient care and lower healthcare costs.