I am pleased to have had the opportunity to join the Iroquois Healthcare Association as the Executive Director of United Iroquois Shared Services (UISS), overseeing the UISS-Premier Group Purchasing Program for acute and non-acute healthcare in March 2021, just one year after the start of the pandemic. At that time, the hospitals were starting to emerge from the peak of the winter surge and were beginning assess their operations to become more resilient and sustainable. The pandemic had placed a significant financial strain on the hospitals due to increased utilization/cost of PPE equipment, workforce shortages, spiking labor expenses and revenue loss from reduction of elective procedures. So, while the post COVID-19 environment was challenging, the UISS team viewed it as an opportunity to assist our members with their operational and financial recovery by leveraging the power of the UISS-Premier tools, technology and resources on both a macro and individual basis.
From an industry perspective, according to a recent PWC HRI report; Medical cost trend: Behind the numbers 2022, “Regardless of when the pandemic officially ends, the pandemic itself, some of its aftereffects and the health system’s response to changes and failures observed during the pandemic are expected to drive up spending in 2022. Investments to bolster shortfalls in the US health system highlighted during the pandemic are expected to drive higher prices in 2022. They include investments in new forecasting tools, improvements to the supply chain, increased wages for some staff, stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infrastructure change”.
Fortunately, for UISS members, Premier has taken the lead in shouldering many of the strategic investments necessary to mitigate future supply chain shortages, risks and vulnerabilities through initiatives such as their Domestic Resiliency Program, that partners with health systems and vendors such as Honeywell, Prestige Ameritech, DeRoyal and Exela Pharma Services to expand domestic manufacturing infrastructure to create capacity and increase the inventory of essential PPE products and pharmaceuticals for healthcare.
Additionally, Premier, Inc. and Resilinc also entered into a partnership to enhance supply chain visibility and sustainability. Supplier mapping, risk scoring and AI-enabled data intelligence will allow hospitals to quantify risk to help mitigate future disruptions.
For full information on the state of healthcare supply chain disruptions and Premier’s vision and strategy for protecting the healthcare supply chain, click here: https://www.premierinc.com/newsroom/blog/report-the-current-state-of-healthcare-supply-chain-disruptions.
From an individual member perspective, over the course of the past several months UISS has been assisting its members to elevate the supply chain by providing enabling technology (SCA) through a shared service data analytics platform powered by a wrap- around service delivery model to help members understand and leverage their purchase spend, product utilization, product substitution, etc. Data transparency and analytics is key to helping organizations make “nimble” short-term supply chain and purchasing decisions and is the cornerstone for developing longer term end-to-end supply chain strategies for cost savings, forecasting and other key components that will prepare and safeguard hospital’s supply chain future.
As we move into 2022, the UISS team looks forward to collaborating with the UISS membership to support their organizational financial and supply chain goals.