Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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NETWORK LEGACY: Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health - SCAN Health

Funded 2017-21

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NCE contributions
$1.6 million

University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario

Transforming the Supply Chain to Create Safer and Higher Performing Global Health Systems

One of the greatest challenges facing global healthcare systems is patient safety. Medical error has now become the third leading cause of death in North America, right behind heart disease and cancer. These adverse events are devastating for patients and their families – and they are very costly to the organization and the healthcare system.

Many other industries have improved safety and efficiency by implementing supply chain best practices that track and trace products and processes from manufacturer to the end-user. The lack of strategic supply chain management in the world’s healthcare systems makes it difficult to meet growing patient demands for safe care while improving efficiency, managing costs and achieving value for patients.

Clinical supply chain processes could transform the care delivery environment to ensure that adverse events are much less likely to take place.

The Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health) brought together global supply chain and logistics research and expertise from business schools, industry, clinicians and governments to accelerate adoption of best practices in health systems. This global network spanned Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia to mobilize supply chain knowledge, leading to safer and higher performing healthcare environments and realizing value for patients, health system sustainability and economic growth for companies. SCAN Health developped tools to implement and measure supply chain traceability from manufacturer to individual patient outcomes.

Among the results

  • SCAN Health designed and implemented a supply chain maturity assessment tool for health organizations to analyze the impact of supply chain strategies. The tool also include an online self-assessment component and a platform to share and compare progress against other organizations in global health systems.
  • SCAN Health designed and launched an online Knowledge Mobilization Platform to profile global best practices in health sector supply chain, facilitating knowledge sharing and relationship building between partner organizations. The platform includes tools, best practices, and moderated discussions.
  • SCAN Health launched a unique virtual business case competition designed to build leadership capacity in the next generation of health system leaders. The annual competitions engaged business schools in North America, Europe, Australia and expanded to other global jurisdictions to offer students the opportunity to design solutions to key supply chain challenges in health systems
  • In one year, SCAN Health successfully hosted two international multi-stakeholder networking events in St. Louis, United States and Calgary, Canada. These annual events fostered global collaboration on health sector supply chain initiatives, discussed key challenges and priorities for health systems, profiled best practices, developed a global registry of product and patient outcomes, and scale supply chain initiatives across international borders.