One of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry is reducing operating costs, and one area of opportunity for cost savings is through the supply chain. Jean-Claude Saghbini, Chief Technology Officer at Wolters Kluwer Health (and formerly of Cardinal Health), spoke with The Boeing Center for Supply Chain Innovation about some of the recent advancements in healthcare technology that have recently been driving efficiency and reducing waste.
Saghbini claims that high value medical devices, or physician preference items, are responsible for quite a bit of waste (up to 30%, or $5 billion) on an annual basis. One method of streamlining and increasing visibility of inventory for high value items such as these is through the use of RFID, or radio frequency identification. An application of RFID that has been particularly successful at driving efficiency is the development of “smart shelves” that know exactly what’s inside a medical device cabinet, and can automatically trigger a reorder at a set inventory level.
Another technology that has increased supply chain efficiency is the access to networks that can aggregate data for various purposes (e.g., sharing information with suppliers, running analytics, etc.). The analysis of data, according to Saghbini, has been very helpful in providing better insight into utilization of medical equipment within hospitals and throughout healthcare networks.
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A Boeing Center digital production
Supply Chain // Operational Excellence // Risk Management