Supply Service Levels You Can Rely On

McKesson's multilayered approach to providing reliable service levels.

By: Ammie McAsey and Christian Gordon

Read time: 2 minutes

The height of the pandemic exposed vulnerabilities across the healthcare supply chain. Inventory levels continue to put a strain on hospitals and health systems, including limited access to personal protective equipment (PPE), at times forcing hospitals to shift and improvise to address the lean availability. To stretch supply, these types of actions left healthcare workers ill equipped to care for patients. In fact, when surveyed, more than half of epidemiologists or infectious disease specialists at 69 healthcare facilities said workers in certain hospital units were using the same disposable N95 respirator for an entire day. Additionally, while drug shortages were and continue to be an ongoing concern, COVID-19 further exasperated them due to unprecedented demand from large numbers of critically ill patients.

Amidst challenges like these, health systems need a reliable pharmaceutical distribution partner that can deliver. Here’s how we focus on maintaining ideal service levels to help health systems have the medicines they need when they need them to care for and focus on their patients.

Strong Performance

Throughout disruptions, change and the unexpected, we have maintained 90% average fill rates*. To add, we increased our fill rate for hospitals by more than 3% over the past five months, compared to the past three years.

A Multilayered Approach

To meet the needs of the health systems, we focus on three key areas: strategic investments, market forces as well as data analysis and ongoing conversations.

Strategic Investments

We’ve made significant investments to operations in our distribution centers to make sure we have a strong workforce in place to move inventory through our supply chain quickly and efficiently.

In addition, we’ve made significant investments in increasing inventory levels in our forward distribution centers to secure supply to improve fill rates and minimize disruptions.

Market forces

We pay special attention to what is happening in the global supply chain, from both the supply and demand sides. Through supplier communication, market insights or other analyses such as predictive analytics tools, we work to adjust as we identify potential supply shortages or other types of disruption.

Data Analysis and Ongoing Conversations

In providing insights to health systems, we understand they need both the quantitative with the qualitative. We engage by listening, particularly through our Critical Care Drug Task Force (CCDTF). The team of experts, assembled at the start of the pandemic, compares the number of COVID-19 cases reported on a local and national level with customer demand patterns and coordinates the forecasted supply needs with pharmaceutical manufacturers. The CCDTF provides health systems with a mix of data and dialogue.

Through our process of monitoring, coupled with strong communication and actionable plans, we are able help health systems by instilling confidence in our supply service levels.

Learn more about how we partner with health systems.

*Numbers represent data from April – August 2021