COVID-19 and the health care supply chain - Christopher J. O’Connor

Christopher J. O’Connor

I strongly urge all hospital and health system CEOs, CFOs and especially board members to read and digest COVID-19 and the health care supply chain: impacts and lessons learned. With my background as a CEO of two companies, I found this article to be very interesting and decided to share my views on the topic. All of the recommended strategies listed are completely on point:

· Build redundancy in the supply chain and change compensation programs accordingly

· Utilize technology solutions

· Create a holistic view of inventory

· Gain greater upstream visibility by mapping and monitoring the supply network

· Diversify the supply base

· Achieve network agility

· Improve visibility / transparency of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

All of these are prudent recommendations and I support every single one of them. However, in order to achieve these, I believe that the functions of the supply chain need to be lifted out of the basement and put on par with other critical functions in the health system. As a comparison, we have a long history of elevating other critical areas.

It is not that many years ago that the CIO was call the director of data processing. The CFO was the director of patient accounts/accounts payable. The CNO was simply the head nurse. All of these functions were elevated due to the strategic nature of their work. Now is the time for the creation of the Chief Supply Chain Officer, or some equivalent title.

This should be a moment in time when health system boards should be fighting for this in order to advance health care in general. As I learned at my alma mater, Iona College, “Certa Bonum Certamen” meaning “Fight the Good Fight.” We will all look back on this moment and will be glad we did.

Christopher J. O’Connor

Read here the article in Supply Chain Quarterly:

Ignorance is a choice. Here is a list of popular international news websites:

Yahoo! News Google News HuffingtonPost CNN New York Times De Telegraaf NBC News Mail Online Washington Post The Guardian WSJ ABCNews BBC News USA Today LA Times De Volkskrant Le Monde Le Figaro

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