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Squaring the circle of healthcare supplies

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The purpose of this paper is to use a systems lens to assess the comparative performance

    of healthcare supply chains and provide guidance for their improvement.

    Design/methodology/approach – A well-established and rigorous multi-method audit

    methodology, based on the uncertainty circle model, yields an objective assessment of value stream

    performance in eight Australasian public sector hospitals. Cause-effect analysis identifies the major

    barriers to achieving smooth, seamless flows. Potentially high-leverage remedial actions identified

    using systems thinking are examined with the aid of an exemplar case.

    Findings – The majority of the healthcare value streams studied are underperforming compared with

    those in the European automotive industry. Every public hospital appears to be caught in the grip of

    vicious circles of system uncertainty, in large part being caused by problems of their own making. The

    single exception is making good progress towards seamless functional integration, which has been

    achieved by elevating supply chain management to a core competence; having a clearly articulated

    supply chain vision; adopting a systems approach; and, managing supplies with accurate information.

    Research limitations/implications – The small number of cases limits the generalisability of the

    findings at this time.

    Practical implications – Hospital supply chain managers endeavouring to achieve smooth and

    seamless supply flows should attempt to elevate the status of supplies management within their

    organisation to that of a core competence, and should use accurate information to manage their value

    streams holistically as a set of interwoven processes. A four-level prism model is proposed as a useful

    framework for thus improving healthcare supply delivery systems.

    Originality/value – Material flow concepts originally developed to provide objective assessments of

    value stream performance in commercial settings are adapted for use in a healthcare setting. The

    ability to identify exemplar organisations via a context-free uncertainty measure, and to use systems

    thinking to identify high-leverage solutions, supports the transfer of appropriate best practices even

    between organisations in dissimilar business and economic settings

Authors


  •   Boehme, Tillmann
  •   Williams, Sharon J. (external author)
  •   Childerhouse, Paul (external author)
  •   Deakins, Eric (external author)
  •   Towill, Denis R. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Boehme, T., Williams, S., Childerhouse, P., Deakins, E. & Towill, D. (2014). Squaring the circle of healthcare supplies. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 28 (2), 247-265.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84902523867

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 247

End Page


  • 265

Volume


  • 28

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • The purpose of this paper is to use a systems lens to assess the comparative performance

    of healthcare supply chains and provide guidance for their improvement.

    Design/methodology/approach – A well-established and rigorous multi-method audit

    methodology, based on the uncertainty circle model, yields an objective assessment of value stream

    performance in eight Australasian public sector hospitals. Cause-effect analysis identifies the major

    barriers to achieving smooth, seamless flows. Potentially high-leverage remedial actions identified

    using systems thinking are examined with the aid of an exemplar case.

    Findings – The majority of the healthcare value streams studied are underperforming compared with

    those in the European automotive industry. Every public hospital appears to be caught in the grip of

    vicious circles of system uncertainty, in large part being caused by problems of their own making. The

    single exception is making good progress towards seamless functional integration, which has been

    achieved by elevating supply chain management to a core competence; having a clearly articulated

    supply chain vision; adopting a systems approach; and, managing supplies with accurate information.

    Research limitations/implications – The small number of cases limits the generalisability of the

    findings at this time.

    Practical implications – Hospital supply chain managers endeavouring to achieve smooth and

    seamless supply flows should attempt to elevate the status of supplies management within their

    organisation to that of a core competence, and should use accurate information to manage their value

    streams holistically as a set of interwoven processes. A four-level prism model is proposed as a useful

    framework for thus improving healthcare supply delivery systems.

    Originality/value – Material flow concepts originally developed to provide objective assessments of

    value stream performance in commercial settings are adapted for use in a healthcare setting. The

    ability to identify exemplar organisations via a context-free uncertainty measure, and to use systems

    thinking to identify high-leverage solutions, supports the transfer of appropriate best practices even

    between organisations in dissimilar business and economic settings

Authors


  •   Boehme, Tillmann
  •   Williams, Sharon J. (external author)
  •   Childerhouse, Paul (external author)
  •   Deakins, Eric (external author)
  •   Towill, Denis R. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Boehme, T., Williams, S., Childerhouse, P., Deakins, E. & Towill, D. (2014). Squaring the circle of healthcare supplies. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 28 (2), 247-265.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84902523867

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 247

End Page


  • 265

Volume


  • 28

Issue


  • 2

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom