Managing Healthcare Supply Chain

A resilient healthcare supply chain combats rising costs and disruption

Top 25 healthcare supply chains ranked

The Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 is a renowned annual ranking of the world’s superior healthcare supply chains. Now in its 12th year, the Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 identifies, celebrates and profiles examples of healthcare supply chain excellence.

Chief supply chain officers use this healthcare supply chain benchmarking and best-practice research in their efforts to:

  • Build a resilient healthcare supply chain
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Control healthcare supply chain costs

See the ranked healthcare supply chains

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    Gartner helped to setup a framework that we use as a starting point to mature supply chain. And the ability to network with others in the healthcare industry via Gartner provides a support system to tackle challenges and be confident with the data and research we bring to our leadership.

    Director of Strategy & Deployment, Consumer Healthcare Company

    Disruption is costly for the healthcare supply chain

    Healthcare supply chains are under pressure to drive down costs because of digital business, shifting customer needs and new competition. But recent disruption – e.g., manufacturer consolidation, climate events, economic & political upheaval – makes achieving cost efficiency in the healthcare supply chain difficult. Disruption forces integrated delivery networks (IDNs) to be reactive to back orders and recalls of essential medical products. This increases the total healthcare supply chain cost to serve, which already averages 37.3% of the total cost of patient care. To succeed amid disruption, the healthcare supply chain must invest in longer-term solutions that provide business continuity while maintaining profitability.

    The total supply chain cost to serve for a health system averages 37.3% of the total cost of patient care.
    More than three-quarters of healthcare supply chain reorganized their structure in the past three years.

    Build a resilient healthcare supply chain

    Increasingly, the CEO relies on the chief supply chain officer to solve problems in the healthcare supply chain so that the IDN can focus on providing quality patient care at sustainable costs. The best chief supply chain officers are ready to not only respond to change, but anticipate it. To build resilience into the healthcare supply chain, employ preventive measures such as:

    • Improved data analytics
    • External intelligence about the healthcare supply chain
    • Supplier visibility
    More than three-quarters of healthcare supply chain reorganized their structure in the past three years.

    Healthcare supply chain management insights you can use

    Gartner’s insights, advice, data and tools help chief supply chain officers build a resilient healthcare supply chain. Through resilience, you can improve patient outcomes and control healthcare supply chain costs. 

    Healthcare Strategy Do's & Don'ts

    About 25% of healthcare supply chain leaders don't have a strategic plan. Discover the 4 simple steps to enable strategic planning in the healthcare supply chain. 

    10 Must-Have Supply Chain Planning Capabilities for Healthcare Companies

    Supply chain leaders can use this research to learn the 10 must-have planning capabilities for pharmaceutical companies and the SCP solution functionalities required to meet these capabilities.

    Low cost patient engagement

    Best-practice case study in which a healthcare provider innovated on traditional supply chain strategies in order to dramatically improve health & medical costs and patient outcomes.

    Interviews with 7 healthcare supply chain leaders

    Listen to interviews with the supply chain leaders at Novant Health, Intermountain Healthcare and others for front-line insight & advice against future disruption to the healthcare supply chain.

    Questions about becoming a Gartner client?

    Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo™

    Join the world's most important gathering of CSCOs, supply chain executives along with Gartner experts to transform and innovate your supply chain strategy.

    With support from Gartner, the client built an in-house business continuity plan within 8 weeks saving $150,000 in consulting fees.
    Client Success Story

    Implementing a healthcare supply chain resiliency plan in-house

    When a leading cancer center was given a mandate to create a business continuity plan (BCP) within a short time frame, the CSCO reached out to Gartner for support. Leveraging our tools and resources, the client was able to meet their objective within the required time frame saving up to $150,000 in consulting fees. 

    Healthcare Supply Chain FAQs

    The talent shortage within healthcare supply chain is a major challenge: Underperforming salaries often drive workers to leave healthcare supply chain for opportunities in other departments, at other IDNs, at manufacturers or even within other industries. To sustain talent, it’s critical that you focus on delivering against major transformation goals.

    According to Gartner research, leaders in healthcare supply chain focus on:

    • Developing core competencies (like data analytics) and next-generation skills (like clinical alignment, or the ability to listen to and collaborate with clinical end users as part of sourcing).
    • Redesigning roles away from legacy job descriptions to orient on the future of supply chain strategy.
    • Designing compensation packages and career paths that are competitive to supply chain roles in other industries.

    To build a patient-centric supply chain in today’s competitive healthcare landscape, supply chain leaders need to think about the intersection of cost, quality and clinical outcomes.

    Focus more on the healthcare supply chain costs that you can trade off, balance and optimize in order to improve patient care. The best supply chain leaders are accelerating investments in people and processes to bolster clinical alignment, which involves listening to and collaborating with end users.

    When that is achieved, the focus can shift to where and how to source products effectively and how to get products in the right place at the right time. Some healthcare organizations can have as many as seven different supply chains, including medical/surgical, medical devices, laboratory, pharmaceuticals, capital equipment, purchased services and food. Healthcare organizations need to think about product segmentation, as well as the who, what, when and where of the healthcare supply chain and how it impacts the delivery of care.

    Leaders in the healthcare supply chain are effectively using microanalytics, data about individual procedures. First microanalytics are gathered and reviewed with end users – e.g., patient length of stay, how likely the patient is to return within 30 days of admittance. Then decisions are made that change the trajectory of patient outcomes and cost – e.g., quantity & cost of the product(s) needed in the procedure, cost to the entire enterprise. To fully embrace microanalytics, healthcare supply chain professionals must consider trade-offs related to value of service, capital intensity and total end-to-end costs. 

    Gartner experts in managing healthcare supply chain

    Gartner’s supply chain experts include more than 100 people worldwide. Meet a few of our leaders who can help you provide build a resilient healthcare supply chain.

    Andrew Knight
    Senior Director Analyst

    Eric O’Daffer
    VP Analyst

    Leanna Todisco
    Leadership Partner

    Cindy Dranttel
    Leadership Partner

    Healthcare Supply Chain Support

    Gartner provides trusted insights and objective advice to help its 2,500+ supply chain leader clients accelerate supply chain performance. We can help you build a resilient healthcare supply chain.