By Nick McKinney, Director, Analytics, OC Reilly, Inc.

(Aug. 29, 2021)–Of the many, many trials that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to health care supply chain, one of the most difficult has been adjusting to a new world of data management. Yet mastering this function can lead to even higher levels of performance for supply chain managers and their organizations.

Prior to the big data revolution, buckets of information were more cleanly established. The torrent of data in the last decade has drastically increased the volume of information we have available, but has blurred the lines of clinical, financial and supply business functions. Industry experts see several key strategies to elevate access to, and the efficient use of, data in making effective supply chain decisions:

Know what to look for – Health systems are paying closer attention to the purchase of critical supplies like personal protective equipment. This increases the importance of knowing where a product is made, how much a vendor holds in inventory, and fill rates.

Know who to trust – Finding a single “source of truth” for data is key, whether it be a distributor, group purchasing organization, or data vendor. This single source should have the scale to evaluate great amounts of data that your organization cannot. Once this source has been identified, it should be incorporated into your operations to increase efficiency and impact.

Know how to manage data – With a trusted source providing and sorting data, the next step is to find a flexible partner to implement that data in ways that your organization needs to achieve the required balance between superior patient care and essential financial management.

Know where the value is being created – Measuring return on the investment in data management is critical to ensure ongoing funding and increasing the visibility of the program. Assigning a dollar value to savings achieved can be enormously impactful, based on clearly defined and verifiable measurements.

The team at OC Reilly can provide expert guidance on how to set up and maintain an effective data management program. Contact us to learn more.

Source: “Master Data. Amplify Impact.” Supply Chain Strategies & Solutions, March/April 2021.

© 2021 OC Reilly, Inc.