3 health care supply challenges to watch for during the second half of 2017
Both health care and supply management are complex, difficult fields, and the interaction between the two can bring special challenges. As we keep up with the latest issues facing this overlap, here are some of the most prominent areas supply chain professionals may need to respond to with accurate data and an efficient path to transformation.

Reluctance to modernize

Health companies may not be ready to embrace efficiency simply because of possible disruption. The focus on readable data and clear transparency may be difficult to square away with typical staff behavior. The Hospitals of Providence's market CEO, Sally Hurt-Deitch, told FierceHealthcare as much when she addressed the issue of staff members who keep things to themselves. She implied this may be antithetical to the clarity that can be a priority for modern supply chains.
"We know that in general, staff are hoarders," she said. "They fear they're not going to have something one day, and people keep putting stuff away because the apocalypse may come."
Despite the hyperbole in this statement, there are clearly some possible hurdles for staff to overcome, simply when it comes to their own preferences and current practices. Physicians can also have an impact on what finally becomes of the supply chain, the source said, because of the differing costs and behaviors in each branch.

High costs

This can be an issue at the heart of other modernization concerns, since without sufficient financial support, decision-makers might not be able to invest in their desired areas. A Deloitte 2017 health outlook report indicated a predicted growth in both global and national GDP health care expenditures. The former of these is expected rise to $8.7 trillion in just three years from now.
Looking more closely at the different possible regional trends, the report said that North America is still set to spend the most in this area by 2020, with more than $4 trillion devoted to health care expenditures compared to the mere $3.3 trillion expended in 2015.
The need to lower costs while still managing patient needs is also leading to different cost containment strategies, the source said. Knowing this, it makes sense that professionals find the most appropriate solutions for health care chains that allow them to achieve efficiency, strong relationships and other goals in a market with high demand.
"A transformation plan can leave the procurement or supply strategy in a better place."

Once again, different conditions can also bring their own concerns. The report mentioned cardiovascular disease as one example, but whatever the most pressing condition, a transformation plan can leave the procurement or supply strategy in a better place.

Cyber security threats

Health care has long been a particularly targeted area by attackers, and it seems that supply chain managers in this industry may want to stay aware of this. In a press release from last year, IBM announced the results of a Ponemon Institute study it sponsored.

This included the statistic that health care breaches cost $355 for each record compromised during an attack, echoing the general rising costs for all industries. In the wake of this information, strategic sourcing may seem more attractive. Professionals can use these challenges as a guide to what will work best for them.
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