Northwell Health, the largest health group in New York State with over 800 hospitals, joins IBM
I spoke briefly with Phyllis McCready, Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at Northwell Health, who explained that, with increased demand, vetting new suppliers is time-consuming. She explained that given the current need, speed to identify and verify new vendors is critical.
“Northwell Health has had adequate supplies to protect patients and our staff during the increase in New York COVID-19 patient cases,” said Ms. McCready. “It is through creating our own group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and supply chain, and joining forces with non-traditional suppliers that we have maintained an adequate stockpile of personal protection equipment (PPE) and other equipment and supplies, so we are pleased to join IBM Rapid Supplier Connect.”
IBM launched last week Rapid Supplier Connect to link buyers to new suppliers, who have changed their manufacturing process to medical equipment. The network is based on IBM’s existing Trust Your Supplier Blockchain Network. The services are available at no cost until August 2020 to qualified buyers and suppliers in the United States and Canada.
“Suppliers and buyers currently joining the network include hospitals and other organizations such as Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, which is on-boarding more than 200 American suppliers from its 3,000 global community members.”, IBM said.
In a brief interview, Mark Treshock, IBM’s global blockchain solutions leader and Rapid Supplier Connect Chief, said, “We want to help fight COVID-19. Rapid Supplier Connect can link suppliers to buyers who may never have known of each other.”
In my conversation with Mr. Treshock, the need for speed is necessary to keep up with demand. “With healthcare workers and other first responders feeling the impact of supply chains disrupted by unprecedented challenges, many large and small businesses from outside the traditional healthcare procurement system are reconfiguring to mass-produce masks, gowns, and other essential supplies. In order to begin purchasing from them at scale, buyers—including hospitals, state procurement divisions, pharmacies and others — need help identifying these new suppliers, efficiently vetting and on-boarding them, and understanding their real-time inventory availability. The network also helps identify existing supplies and excess inventory going unused, allowing hospitals to make it available to others and redirect supplies where they are needed most.”
Forbes covered IBM’s Trust Your Supplier Network and how blockchain can transform logistics earlier this April.