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AHS gets supply chain boost

June 6, 2018

Contestants tailor solutions

Story by: Greg Harris

Alberta Health Services is now the beneficiary of some cutting edge ideas for optimizing its supply chain following a design competition organized by an international network composed of industry leaders.

In the retail sector, a well-designed supply chain ensures the efficient and cost-effective delivery of products to store shelves. The same process occurs in healthcare when AHS procures all the necessary goods and equipment for patient care.

“Participating as the case subject of this design competition has given AHS access to a wealth of innovative ideas that have the potential to improve patient safety and quality of care,” says Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS President and CEO, who announced the winner of the competition at an event in Calgary on June 5.

“AHS is looking at all areas of the health system to improve efficiencies and deliver the best healthcare possible to Albertans. That includes areas we don’t often think about, such as supply chain infrastructure. We have much to learn from the industry leaders who participated in this inaugural design competition, and will look forward to considering their insights.”

The competition was organized by the Supply Chain Advancement Network in Health (SCAN Health), which was created by the Canadian government in 2017 to enable the exchange of information and expertise to accelerate the implementation of healthcare supply chain best practices.

SCAN Health is made up of more than 100 partners from industry, healthcare, government and academia, and includes representation from Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

In the design competition, SCAN Health asked industry participants to create a strategy for the AHS surgical program, which could achieve these outcomes:

“The design competition was created to solicit submissions from the vendor community on how AHS can optimize its supply chain and provide overall best value and care to Albertans,” says Jitendra Prasad, AHS Chief Program Officer, Contracting, Procurement and Supply Management.

“The competition was not based on any financial commitment by AHS, but was used as a means to see what innovative ideas can be proposed by industry partners that could be used by AHS in optimizing its supply chain program. All proposals were very innovative and had ideas that can be utilized by AHS such as managing data, tracking devices at the patient level and creating efficiencies in how supplies are managed at the patient care level.”

An international panel of experts selected the Canadian firm TECSYS for its proposal, which Prasad says “stands out in its ability to deliver an innovative solution to manage supply chain at the patient care level.”

“At this time AHS does not foresee making any significant commitment to implement the solution, given the work underway on the implementation of ConnectCare, but will review the solution in detail and will look at potential opportunities for partnership in the future,” Prasad says.

For more information on SCAN Health, see