Healthcare is starving for individuals who can handle the day and age of “every minute counts to fight for the quality and cost” mission of the healthcare system. Every dollar saved is a dollar toward more jobs, not fewer jobs! Of course, this is the mentality that will always be needed. But, what is the necessary skill set to be the vice president of a hospital’s supply chain? I will argue it not the traditional skill set but rather a mix of skill sets that is the secret recipe for success in today’s health system.
The traditional supply chain leader started as a receiver or distribution tech, moved to the manager of distribution and or purchasing, and was eventually promoted to oversee more operational areas, and now works with hospital executives. These individuals know how the technology works, how to source products quickly when supplies are depleted, and how to staff multiple shifts and communicate with department leaders. But, in new times of lower profits and fewer staff, leaders need to be nimble on their feet, quicker to solve problems, and focused on data to drive operations and project costs.
The need for skillsets outside the traditional leader is relevant. The healthcare supply chain for the operating room typically makes up more than 90 percent of critical problems in the hospital, whether controlling perpetual inventory systems, updating preference cards, or submitting charge codes to match implant contracts correctly. The OR is where skill sets are most critical.