In the past, hospital supply chain was commonly viewed as the department responsible for ensuring adequate supplies were on hand. But today, as margins continue to shrink and the emphasis on clinical outcomes increases, health care providers are focusing more sharply on supply chain as a collaborative and strategic function.

To succeed in this rapidly changing environment, supply chain leaders and health care executives must have access to specialized education, tools and resources.

Enter the Vizient Supply Chain Leadership Series – educational programs designed to help evolve supply chain into a strategic and successful operation. “The series is really unique in that our educational content is largely member-driven,” says Molly Zmuda, senior networks director for Vizient. “We develop webcasts on topics that members have told us are of interest to them.”

Member-driven educational content

The Vizient Supply Chain Leadership Series brings industry experts and supply chain leaders together to discuss current supply chain management issues, trends and leading practices. Each program typically features a Vizient member or subject matter expert to describe a success, a leading practice they’ve implemented or a challenge they’ve faced. Attendees have access to a program handout that frequently includes resources that members can apply within their own organizations.

The webcasts help members learn how to build collaborative relationships with other organizational stakeholders, implement innovative supply chain management processes, and drive value to their organizations. 2019 topics included driving practice change through clinical collaboration, taking a system approach to supply and drug shortages, and reducing case costs in surgery. The April webcast on cybersecurity drove significant value and targeted tools to hundreds of participants, featuring public and private-sector subject matter experts from Mayo Clinic, University of Chicago Medicine and the Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council.

“Almost every Supply Chain Leadership Series that we’re offering this year includes a leader from supply chain along with another leadership partner within their organization, such as an IT colleague, quality or operational expert, or physician leader,” says Zmuda. “It’s really indicative of the strategic significance of supply chain within our provider organizations as connectors and influencers.”

Members may choose to attend the live webcasts or access the recordings to view at a later time. Those attending a live session have the opportunity to submit real-time questions for responses on-air. “The series is specifically intended as an opportunity to meet our members where they are – over lunch, at their desks or at the conclusion of a staff meeting,” says Zmuda, adding that the webcasts are typically less than an hour long.

Intelligence-driven, improvement-oriented programming

Next year, the Supply Chain Leadership Series will become even more intelligence-driven and improvement-oriented on the heels of the new Supply Chain Operational Excellence Awards Vizient is initiating at the Connections Education Summit next month.

In 2020, the leadership series will spotlight the winners of the Supply Chain Operational Excellence Awards and offer insight into the winning organizations’ supply chain practices. When members view a 2020 leadership series webcast, they’ll be able to compare their organization’s performance to that of a supply chain winner, referencing the personalized scorecards each member will receive this fall. “Armed with a personalized scorecard, members will hear the award winners’ stories and consider how to make targeted improvements while referencing data to monitor their progress,” says Zmuda.

In addition to supply chain operational excellence, next year’s series will also place greater emphasis on clinical-supply integration.

“We know that clinical-supply integration is a key priority for supply chain leaders across the organizations we serve,” adds Zmuda. “We are seeing member organizations begin to pivot to ensure all purchasing activity is clinically led and clinically driven to prevent harm, improve outcomes and lower costs.”

Register for the 2019 series

As the health care industry continues to evolve, staying abreast of supply chain management trends and approaching the supply chain function strategically are business imperatives. “Members who understand and leverage the strategic significance of supply chain within a provider organization are poised for success into the future – for their organizations and the communities they serve,” adds Zmuda.

With a focus on delivering intelligence-driven and improvement-oriented experiences, the Supply Chain Leadership Series equips members to meet evolving industry challenges head-on. Five sessions remain in 2019 and the 2020 series will launch Feb. 19, 2020. Registration is free and continuing education credit is available for both live and on-demand webcasts.

For more information, to register or to access recordings of past webcasts, click here.

Published: August 20, 2019