Lisa Anderson was quoted in the Snowflake blog about how data is critical to healthcare – especially in times of supply chain vulnerability as a result of natural and man-made disasters.
The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with increasingly common climate-based natural disasters, showed us how vulnerable global supply chains are. But while a broken supply chain in the automobile industry may mean a shortage of spark plugs at your local auto repair shop, the same situation in the healthcare industry can result in the inability to effectively treat illness or injury.
Many of us tend to be surprised when we realize healthcare is not immune to market forces. Medical logistics includes medical devices, from oxygen pumps to scalpels; prescription drugs and other medication; personal protective equipment (PPE); healthcare furniture; and disinfectants. These are channeled through almost 6,100 hospitals and 67,000 pharmacies handling about 6 billion prescriptions in the United States alone. Cast the definition of logistics a little wider and you have to account for the indispensable human equation: doctors, nurses, technologists, specialists, and administrators.
By innovating data sharing and collaboration with partners and agencies, we may be able to better identify and more quickly analyze the most vulnerable links of the healthcare chain, predicting supply chain shortfalls and other issues before they happen
Data is critical to healthcare, said Lisa Anderson, President of the LMA Consulting Group. “Data can lead to figuring out better where your product is,” she said. “It allows you to track the demand for your product, to keep critical supplies in stock where they need to be. Everyone I’ve talked to believes data sharing is the future. The problem is, it is really quite hard to get competitors to agree to share data when you don’t know if you’re going to come out on the equal side of that situation.”
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Originally published in Snowflake, April 11, 2023