Supply Chain Challenges in Healthcare
Conclave at FORE School of Management.
Covid 19 has put healthcare supply chain into the center stage. It also became a precursor for use of technology in the healthcare supply chain and the rise of AI-powered companies in the healthcare supply chain. The overburdened healthcare system brought the worst and also the best out of the ecosystem with dedicated healthcare workers spearheading the show. The medicines, medical equipment and supplies and the supply chain could not match the demand sometimes but as management researchers, it is imperative to learn important lessons.
Keeping the challenges in mind, a ‘Supply Chain Management Conclave’ was organized by Centre for Operations and Supply Chain Management (COSCM), FORE School of Management, New Delhi on January 14th - 15th 2021, with focus on the Health Care Supply Chain.
Dr. BBL Madhukar, Chairman FORE School of Management, invited the distinguished line of speakers from the field and started the ball rolling by elucidating that, “The World is looking at India as the two Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out. India has a legacy of supporting developed countries and they expect us to produce the vaccines in large volumes and at a cost effective price and support the world.”
Dr. S P Puri, the veteran medical practitioner from AIIMS, was the keynote speaker and his insightful words gave the welcome thrust to the conclave: He stressed that “Covid has exposed the fault lines of the healthcare system. Considering the characteristics of transmission of the Corona virus, the Healthcare delivery needs to be revamped considering the advancement of technologies in different areas. Technology can substantially enhance the service level by incorporating in in preventative strategies, consultative methods and diagnostic procedures; higher levels of patient engagement and involvement; remote advisory and treatment systems, for medical team collaboration and home-based patients; keeping track of patient history and easier access to data. The Healthcare ecosystems having active stakeholders like patients, doctors, nurses, companies and government bodies, suppliers etc. have to be supported by other stakeholders like: universities, research centers, industries, policymakers, NGOs and public institutions to make the delivery robust and resilient.
The other speakers included Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director-Ujala Cygnus Hospital; Commander Navneet Bali, Regional Director North, Narayana Health; Dr. Mahesh Devnani, PGIMER Chandigarh; Mr. Shishir Kumar, Director Healthcare and Life Science, Hitachi Vantara; Dr. Amit Banerjee, Ex Prof. NUS Singapore; Mr. Amit Sharma, Cytecare Cancer Hospitals and Ms. Shuchita Gupta, CEO Pinkshastra and Care4 parents.
Given the context, Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director of FORE School of Management, said that: “It was imminent to have a discussion and discourse on the topic as supply chain management has become more complex and dynamic. It has never been so important to adopt an agile approach as it is today. Citing the dry run of Covid 19 vaccines and the super complexities involved in the storage of vaccine vials which needs to be kept, transported and stored under a certain controlled environment, Dr. Das reiterated that focus on Healthcare Supply Chain is imminent.
The conclave was divided into four sessions. The sessions were on Pharmaceutical Supply Chain, Medical Equipment Supply Chain, Temperature controlled and Vaccine Supply Chain. Leaders and stakeholders from healthcare industry, and doctors participated in the conclave along with professionals involved in last mile delivery. They shared their experiences and insights on the platform about temperature controlled third-party logistics also. Healthcare organizations are moving at different speeds, depending on the country they work in, legal frameworks, political agenda, individual organization, role within the ecosystem, budgets. Considering the goal of digital transformation in healthcare, the focus can be on enhancing patient-centricity in hospitals and improving workforce conditions to new ways of care, for instance, remote monitoring by leveraging cloud computing and the Internet of Things. India being a vast country with diversity, the pressure on healthcare system is enormous and needs to find its own solutions.
The virtual conclave was attended by more than 100 delegates from various fields.