A Formula for Monitoring Supply: Data and Dialogue

Learn how one group's ongoing conversations help customers prepare for inventory shortages.

By: McKesson Health Systems Editorial Team

Read time: 3 minutes

When the pandemic struck in 2020, it changed the way we do business and our traditional day-to-day interactions in ways we never expected. But even though the environment shifted, we knew how important it was to make sure health systems had the same or an even greater level of guidance from McKesson than ever before – especially regarding the supply chain. Innovation was critical in determining how to maintain interaction with our customers remotely and instilling confidence around ordering supplies with a clear sense of direction and clinically based direction.

Shifting Gears

While both building on the foundational relationship dynamic we traditionally maintain with customers and taking a more novel approach to manage supply, we established McKesson’s Critical Care Drug Task Force (CCDTF). The task force includes a broad group of pharmacists, data scientists and procurement experts with deep experience in hospital pharmacy operations and optimization. Trained pharmacists paired with 340B experts and a host of other industry professionals bring combined decades-long expertise and experience to provide the diversity of thought that is integral to helping our customers. Once assembled, the group quickly came together, meeting daily to answer big supply chain questions with real-time clinical research, customer feedback and technology solutions.

How and Why It Works

There are two major components that have helped make the Critical Care Drug Task Force successful: data and dialogue. A main function of the team is to collect and analyze data to track the spread and intensity of COVID-19 in comparison to customer purchasing trends. Together, CCDTF members monitor medicines prescribed to manage patients with COVID-19 and anticipate demand across the pharmacy supply chain. The team 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. Additionally, the task force keeps a pulse on medical literature to stay current with drug therapy changes. But, the collection and monitoring from these sources isn’t all that’s needed to make this beneficial for our customers – the conversation behind the data is important, too.

Together, the team provides insight beyond a single point of view. Team members share learnings with health system customers to help them manage supply constraints, but the dialogue within that shared learning matters. The CCDTF serves as a true voice for McKesson, and having open, ongoing conversations with customers helps to alleviate fears of inventory shortages.

A True Partnership

Since its formation, health systems have spoken about the impact having the CCDTF has had and what makes the task force essential for our customers and the significance of the partnership.

Through the power of partnership, our experts strive to take a holistic view for each individual health system and apply advanced analytics to reveal insights and opportunities. The CCDTF is just one of many ways our team works to connect the dots between drug utilization and tangible solutions from across our enterprise and partners, health systems operations and patient care efforts.

Here are our team members.

Data and Dialogue

Check out these additional resources around McKesson’s Critical Care Drug Task Force:

Looking Ahead: Three Imperatives for Recovering Health Systems
Lessons Learned: Pharmacy Purchasing During a Pandemic
A look at the pandemic's effect on supply chain, with McKesson's Craig Dolan
Staring down supply chain disruption
Algorithms and accountability

Contact us to learn more about how we help health systems achieve supply chain excellence.