Healthcare Supply Chain Management: Resource & Logistics Processes

In 1992, AHRMM, in concert with Kowalski-Dickow Associates, Inc., crafted "The Primer" and guidebook for healthcare purchasing and materials management. It was entitled Managing Hospital Materials Management and can be found on many shelves of supply chain leaders' offices. This long awaited and updated publication is a textbook, which should serve to orient university and college students and new entrant to healthcare supply chain services. Seasoned healthcare professionals will find this text to be a valuable guide and resource to use to assess, or reassess, their supply chain and support services operations. I would suggest that this text also be shared with the executive sponsors of every healthcare organization's supply chain services, particularly if the executive sponsor is relatively new in his or her role.

While the fundamentals of healthcare supply chain services have not changed dramatically over the past 18 to 20 years, the scope of healthcare supply chain has advanced. Most supply chain service organizations have become actively integrated support service and resource organizations, which are viewed as key to containing costs and "margin menders". New chapters that reflect the dynamic changes in our profession include: Self Distribution, Materials Management and Facility Planning, and Applying Materials Management Processes to the Procedural Departments (Surgical Services, Cardiology Services, Interventional Radiology, etc). These sections are developed in "how to" and best practices methods and processes to guide the successful integration of supply chain services with these high supply cost service departments.

This manual is divided into four distinct units, which include: Materials Management Organization and Administration, Materials Management Functional Areas, Stewardship, and Information Management and Technology.

Materials Management and Organization covers the materials management environment, organization and planning, strategic planning, and provides a strategic planning perspective specific to the military. Materials Management Functional Areas includes best practices and process flowcharts, covering purchasing, receiving, inventory management, storage and warehousing, distribution and logistics, self distribution, facility planning, clinical engineering, and support services. The section on Stewardship focuses on customer service, financial management, value analysis, new technology review, supplier management, and contracting. The final section, Information Management and Technology covers Materials Management Information Systems (MMIS) and Radio Frequency Identification Systems. The MMIS sector describes the importance of integrating the MMIS with clinical information systems and financial information systems.

This book belongs in every healthcare supply chain organization's library and should be a must read, chapter by appropriate chapter, by the division leaders of each supply chain service unit and their staff.

James M. Smoker, RRT, MPA, CMRP, York, Pennsylvania

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