Supply chain leaders historically have faced challenges such as reducing expenses, on-time product delivery, managing inventory, providing standardized system services, and limited staff availability. COVID-19 has added an obstacle for the healthcare supply chain to acquire products that primarily are manufactured overseas. For example, pre-pandemic, there were typically five hundred products on allocation; today, this number exceeds ten thousand, with many of them sourced from China. With this new reality, supply chain leaders are shifting focus to evaluating the sourcing strategy, including domestic-based manufacturing and alternative sourcing options to ensure continuity of products in the United States.
These additional challenges have highlighted the need to streamline, optimize, and measure supply chain performance and reduce shortages and rework. It is critical for hospitals to reevaluate their internal workstreams and take measures to standardize their procure-to-pay processes through automation and metrics.