What does the future hold for health care's strategic sourcing?

Managed IT services are quickly becoming an integral part of the health care industry's materials acquisition and distribution strategies. Hospitals, pharmacies and other subsets of the medical economy require a diverse variety of products, from magnetic resonance imaging machines to gaseous medicines. As a result, storing and transporting these items can be tricky. 

Ensuring preservation, eliminating losses 

Warehouse floor managers responsible for monitoring a wide array of goods are sometimes intimidated by the sheer amount of materials stored in their facilities. When it comes to the health care market, these items may require dry storage, sanitary conditions or refrigeration. Neglecting to properly accommodate the needs of each product could be a severe detriment to the procurement process of medical companies. 

As opposed to moving down warehouse aisles manually noting the conditions of each item, Modern Healthcare contributor Rachel Landen recommended that distribution specialists implement a cloud-based software system capable of tracking and logging the status of particular materials automatically. Landen noted that Premier Health, an N.C.-based national health care alliance, recently implemented a solution that is expected to save the organization 18 percent of its total capital equipment budget. 

The procurement software allows Premier not only to cover all inventory requirements, but to run analytics tools to help their financing departments deduce where expenses could be reduced or eliminated. In light of the United States' transition to a value-based care delivery system, this program is particularly important for those looking to contract the cost of receiving treatment. 

Growing more complicated 

Scientists throughout the world are researching ways to revolutionize the health care industry, in turn forcing distributors to adjust their delivery and storage methods. According to a study released by online medical journal The Lancet, researchers from Switzerland, the U.S. and Mexico engineered vaginal organs after taking three yearly biopsies from a group of Mexican patients aged 13-18 years old. 

According to the source, the patients suffered from a rare condition that caused them to be born without exterior vaginal properties, which is known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKHS). After autologous tissue was obtained from each girl, the scientists cultured, expanded and seeded epithelial and muscle cells into biodegradable stages. The organs were then grown in an incubator, displaying structural and functional properties. 

If such a procedure were to become widely used by the medical industry, global sourcing for specific, customized organs are sure to transform the distribution chain. Ensuring that these biological materials are stored and transported under sanitary conditions is absolutely necessary. 

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