Dr. Anne Snowdon meets with Jeremy Hunt, United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Health to discuss opportunities to advance patient safety and efficiency through health sector supply chain innovation

Dr. Anne Snowdon, WIN Academic Chair, and Dr. Charles Alessi, WIN Visiting Scholar, met with Jeremy Hunt, United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Health, and a team of senior health system leaders in London, England, on January 24, 2017. Strategic supply chain transformation in the health sector provides incredible opportunity to improve patient safety, productivity and efficiency, sustainability and economic value.

Similar to supply chain systems used in the retail sector, the introduction of barcoding standards and automated scanning of products and care processes in healthcare creates capacity to track patient outcomes linked to product use and care procedures. Achieving visibility in the health sector supply chain improves patient safety and experience, enhances performance and efficiency, and achieves cost savings and economic value (Snowdon & Alessi, 2016). The Scan4Safety program in the UK is creating patient care environments that reduce medical error, and more accurately measures the effectiveness of care processes for patients. The use of GS1 global standards makes it possible to track safety and outcomes across global health systems to improve health care outcomes and costs. “The early results from the six Scan4Safety demonstrator sites suggest that the project has the potential to save lives and up to £1 billion for the NHS over 7 years.” (NHS, 2016).

Supply chain transformation in the UK provides a significant and unique opportunity for the exchange of essential knowledge, experience and expertise internationally. WIN is collaborating with the Secretary of State for Health and senior leaders in the UK health system to increase our understanding, and the capacity to scale healthcare supply chain transformation throughout Canada and globally.


NHS. (2016). Scan4Safety. Retrieved from http://www.scan4safety.nhs.uk/

Snowdon A, Alessi C. (2016). Visibility: The New Value Proposition for Health Systems. Windsor, ON: World Health Innovation Network, Windsor University. Retrieved from http://worldhealthinnovationnetwork.com/visibility-the-new-value-proposition-for-health-systems

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