Healthcare logistics systems all over the world experienced the utmost stress after the outbreak of COVID-19. Every possible facility was used to fight against this virus. In doing so, we encountered a shortage of essential medical supplies. Now, to meet their ends, medical supply chains are facing logistical issues. In this article, we shall discuss the challenges in healthcare logistics in India.
Many hospitals still rely on traditional software for managing their inventory, procurement, logistics, and other operations. During COVID, hospitals could not manage the surge in patients, and it became an arduous task to figure out the status of inventory. To understand, they were not aware of the number of ventilators or other resources they were left with or what more they had to order. The influx of inaccurate data led to poor planning. It's high time for the hospitals to now switch to modern technologies like the cloud-based paradigm for managing assets, and blockchain’s security.
Hospitals rely too heavily on third-party logistics, which results in a weakened procurement process and a reduced actual capacity to respond quickly to a crisis. Adhering to the supply chain and making sure to cut out pointless manual processes will eliminate unnecessary manual operations and streamline data flow at every step.
Generally speaking, supplies are delayed when either the goods are damaged or become trapped somewhere in the supply chain. The biggest problem with the shipment of these devices is their mishandling in transit. Aside from rough handling, other causes include exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity.
Many people saw the pandemic as an opportunity to make more money. The increased demand for the medicines could not be met, and undercover bidding and shady ordering came into existence. People also started hoarding medical supplies. The weak supply chain system could not track the loophole, ultimately leading to foul play. To avoid such situations in the future, the healthcare industry should think about relying on blockchain-enabled end-to-end delivery tracking systems. Transparency at every step should be the main agenda of every stakeholder.
Old supply chains heavily rely on outmoded systems, which lack innovation and are the main contributor to all supply chain failures. These systems lack storage capacity, rely on antiquated operating models and technologies, and do not provide transparency. Switching to new technology and practising high-maintenance strategies can help them survive during crises.
It's high time, healthcare logistics in India switch to new technologies and make most of the important data available on the cloud. The pandemic has taught us to be prepared for any medical emergency in the future.
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