Premier has expanded its partnership with supply chain risk-management company Resilinc to help healthcare providers cope with global supply chain failures that disrupt their operations, the not-for-profit organization announced Tuesday.
Premier and Resilinc will use supplier mapping, risk scoring and artificial intelligence-enabled data to help hospitals quantify risk and alleviate future shortages, according to the consulting and group purchasing company. Premier first partnered with Resilinc on other ventures in 2018.
"Our collaboration with Resilinc is yet another step forward in Premier's steadfast, multi-year commitment to protect healthcare providers from shortages," David Hargraves, Premier's senior vice president of supply chain, said in a news release. The Resilinc partnership is Premier's latest attempt to help providers deal with short supplies of vital material such as personal protective equipment.
Supply chain disruptions spiked 67% last, according to Resilinc. Demand for medical supplies and drugs surged seven to 30 times higher than their usual rates, the company reported.
While hospital spending on personal protective equipment is lower overall this year than last, problems persist. Items such as exam gloves have become even harder to source, for example. Glove supplies will be constrained into 2023 due to raw material shortages, delays, factory closures, and global demand that exceeds capacity by 40%, according to Premier.
The Premier-Resilinc initiative will map supplies at more than 1,300 vendors and 15,000 sites, giving Premier clients reliable information about what products are available. Premier will use Resilinc's Multi-Tier Mapping service, which identifies available products from its top supplier partners, to track products.
Resilinc's RiskShield is designed to help providers anticipate future supply problems by rating vendors on factors such as geographic diversity, recovery time, quality, and environmental, social, governance and sustainability practices.
"The visibility supply chain mapping provides is the foundation of risk management and transparency," Resilinc CEO Bindiya Vakil said in a news release. "That, combined with knowledge about the potential risk areas across the supplier network, allows for a deeper understanding of issues and the ability to offset any brand or logistical trouble."
EventWatchAI, Resilinc's 24/7 monitoring service, uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to search for potentially disruptive events to the supply chain across millions of news, social media and government agency feeds in 189 countries and 100 languages.
Premier's new collaboration with Resilinc is its newest effort to ameliorate supply chain problems, including its investments in U.S.-based manufacturers.
Last year, Premier partnered with DeRoyal Industries to domestically source and produce isolation gowns, teamed up with Honeywell to annually produce 750 million nitrile exam gloves in the U.S., and bought a minority stake in Prestige Ameritech, a manufacturer of N95 and surgical masks and committing to buying a share of its masks for up to six years.