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The Supply Chain, Distribution and the Home Care Setting

By Jan Beery, - March 15, 2018

Scott-CKBK Communications will be attending the HIDA Executive Conference March 20-21 and as always, looking forward to networking and this year’s political debate, “Washington's Wild Ride!” You’ll want to check out the “6 Reasons Not To Miss HIDA’s 2018 Executive Conference”.

Everyone in the healthcare supply chain is paying attention to how the home healthcare setting is going to impact the industry. How should the supply chain adapt to the growing need to support this market? What should suppliers be doing to grow their business and support the shift to increased home healthcare?

Life experiences offer the best educational opportunities around. Hearing first hand from a patient directly affected by this shift in responsibility for care is priceless!

I’d like you to meet my brother from another mother, Scott Colligan or “My Scott”, as we like to call him. (long story)

5 years ago, after being diagnosed with Stage 1 aggressive bladder cancer at age 52 and going through unsuccessful BCG (immunotherapy), Scott experienced a life-changing surgery. At the young age of 54, he underwent a radical cystoprostatectomy (cystoprostatectomy with bilateral lymph node dissection) as Scott would say, “gutted like a mackerel.” Coincident with this procedure he received an ileal conduit urinary diversion. Basically, 4 operations in one day.

After 15 days in the hospital, meeting with an ostomy wound care nurse to learn how to change a bag, watch videos, practice, and ask questions, it was time to go home.

Just 5 years ago, the resources consisted of the nurse telling him, that she deals with two companies because that’s who is covered by insurance. The exhaustive research would be on him.

He found a discussion board online BCAN where he could ask questions, find other product information and even get samples to try. He also accesses information with Inspire.com and bladder cancer in the discussions. Hearing from real people that could relate to his new normal, Scott was able to ask questions like:

  • Am I able to travel?
  • How do I change the bag on an airplane?
  • How do I deal with the emotional impact?
  • Does anyone else experience skin irritation?
  • How do I talk to my grandchildren about not jumping on Grandpa?

In just the last few years, the access to information from medical manufacturers and distributors in the supply chain has exploded!

Distribution Friendly: Scott used to call in his order for supplies to a distributor he was first provided at the hospital. He shared that since the website is now easier to navigate, he has access to previous orders, can add or delete items, and place a new order without any challenges. Great example of improved customer service to the homecare patient, and he is a brand advocate sharing in the discussion forums who he orders from. Well done, Owens & Minor’s Byram Healthcare!  

The Value in Manufacturer Education: The reason Scott switched products was based on the need to mold and seal for a better fit. Previous technology required scissors and a template. This solved that problem. Scott learned about an alternate solution originally from the wound ostomy nurse. He asked why the hospital didn’t use this product? She told him it was because the hospital had a contract with another manufacturer.

Scott researched and found the Me+ program. A nurse from the manufacturer contacted him, asked how it was going. He appreciated the interest in connecting with patients, listening to their needs and helping solve any potential issues. Kudos to the manufacturer for providing education and support to the patient in how they can manage their care, and why specific products make the most sense!

Having access to what he researched and found would work best for his healthcare and quality of life, Scott shared,

“If I can’t receive my products from the distributor I’ve been ordering from, I would contact the manufacturer for support.”


Here’s a glimpse into what Scott needs to have for his homecare!

  • Urostomy Pouch
  • Durahesive
  • Night jug
  • Bag when traveling  
  • Adhesive remover
  • Skin barrier wipes
  • Night time, have to have a waterproof barrier on the bed.
  • When traveling, a small waterproof washable mat.

Because of the access to information, and researching every manufacturer on his own, Scott found a manufacturer who provided the best solution with products and support.

Scott is the homecare patient example of where the healthcare industry is right now and will continue to grow and necessitate more accessibility for the patient, caregiver, and families.

How should the supply chain adapt as more healthcare occurs at home? Make it easy, be responsive and accessible.

What should suppliers do to maintain and grow their business amid this shift? Educate, support, listen and provide solutions.

HIDA Executive conference 2018 will have a session titled: The Supply Chain’s Last Mile: Distribution to the Home Care Setting, which prompted this interview. HIDA Executive Conference is an opportunity for industry leaders in supply chain distribution, manufacturing and related service providers to network, learn, and adapt solutions.

If you’d like some assistance evaluating and improving your online performance, the experienced healthcare marketing team at KBK Communications is ready to help you attract more visitors and convert more leads into satisfied customers.

 

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