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Premier Inc. Selected as Finalist in 2022 NC TECH Awards

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Premier has been named a 2022 NC TECH Awards Finalist in the Use of Technology – Manufacturing + Supply Chain category. In 2021, Premier was selected as the winner in the Analytics and Big Data category.

The NC TECH Awards is North Carolina’s only statewide technology awards program that recognizes innovation, growth and leadership in the tech sector and is presented by the NC TECH (North Carolina Technology Association).

For more than two decades, Premier has been a leader in developing innovative solutions to protect our nation’s healthcare providers and patients from shortages while driving supply chain innovation and increasing the domestic and diverse manufacturing of critical products.

Premier’s robust technology platform and supply chain expertise provide a trusted connection point for our member hospitals and health systems, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and the U.S. government. And we continue to help ensure access to the supplies, data, analytics and intelligence needed to survive and thrive in a challenging environment through four key areas:

  • Predictive technology
  • Supply chain visibility and sustainability
  • Domestic and diverse manufacturing
  • Technology-enabled supply chain

Predictive Technology

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier created a near real-time technology system to gain visibility into hospital inventory, including stockpiles, providing visibility to the SKU level. This tool could predict a hospital's COVID-19 census based on cases at the county level; model supply levels based on estimated case volume and typical surge demand; and show inventory availability by supplier. Throughout the pandemic, this technology has allowed providers to anticipate their needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) along with other products and therapeutics necessary for treating patients.

Overlaying clinical and supply chain data can help entities in both the public and private sectors see where products, such as N95 masks and gloves, are stocked as well as gaps in resources. This progressive monitoring approach needs to extend across the supply chain, providing advanced alerts of demand signaling and inventory levels, and enabling rapid movement of product to points of care.

As such, Premier continues to work closely with federal and state agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and others, on strategies to gather data; forecast demand; identify needed regulatory changes; and increase available supplies and allocate based on need. We’re also working with White House leadership to help improve the nation’s supply chain issues ─ providing data and insights on backorders and potential shortages and advocating for priority transportation of critical products. To this end, Premier was invited to join the Biden Administration’s Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Sector Joint Supply Chain Resilience Working Group. 

COVID-19 highlighted the lack of supply chain visibility and reinforced the urgent need to better understand product availability and risk. Using robust data analytics, Premier is increasing transparency to mitigate future disruptions with more sophisticated product burn data, visibility into manufacturer inventory status and broader view into the end-to-end supply chain overall.

Supply Chain Visibility and Sustainability

Premier’s enhanced supply chain mapping capabilities encompass more than 1,300 suppliers and 15,000 sites and can give an organization visibility down to the site, product and raw material/component levels for its top supplier partners, allowing for greater view into potential vulnerabilities to help ensure continuity of supply. We can immediately know which suppliers are affected following a disruption – and can efficiently communicate and collaborate. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) are being leveraged to capture data and monitor potentially disruptive events across news, social media and government agency feeds to enhance mapping and supplier risk assessments.

Data is the foundation of risk management and transparency – and necessary to modernize our nation’s supply chain infrastructure. With supply chain mapping and risk scoring to real-time data on hospital demand and inventory levels, Premier is a clear leader in technology and data for greater disruption prediction, prevention and mitigation.

Domestic and Diverse Manufacturing

Premier is leveraging the power of data and ongoing dialogue with our members to drive greater supplier diversity and capacity ─ increasing the production of masks, gloves and other PPE both globally and here at home. For example, data informs our approach to our domestic manufacturing investments, including those with Prestige Ameritech and DeRoyal Industries Inc., providing us with insights showing the supplies most at-risk and where we can scale up to meet member needs.

These manufacturing investments are driving innovative and automated production processes. An example of this work is the joint venture Premier and its members announced with DeRoyal in November 2020, dedicated to the domestic production of isolation gowns. In this collaboration, gowns were designed to health systems specifications and care delivery requirements, and the partnership is expected to produce more than 40 million domestically manufactured gowns each year.

This partnership is transforming a traditionally man-made process to automated production, with the capability to produce two gowns every second. Investments in automation can help our nation produce goods and compete with low-cost countries in an environment where labor is hard to come by. Automating the manufacturing process helps create a smarter supply chain, driving greater efficiency by increasing production capacity, reducing costs and allowing domestic companies to compete more effectively on a global scale.

Technology-Enabled Supply Chain

Organizations across the country are also leveraging Premier’s supply chain and performance improvement technology to drive organizational decision-making, standardize care and eliminate variation. This is propelling supply chain automation as well, from vendor sourcing and contract management to procure-to-pay (P2P) capabilities, which are poised to create significant efficiencies and reduce costs.

PINC AI™ technology is giving providers a leg up in today’s healthcare environment – enabling members to more accurately manage contracts, automate invoicing and payments, streamline operations and manage supply chain costs all in one place.

This kind of comprehensive, technology-enabled supply chain can help healthcare providers and organizations across sectors achieve superior savings, drive transparency and build resiliency. We’re proud of our work and the advancements we’ve made with our members and partners to help ensure access to the supplies, data and intelligence needed now and for the future – and we’re proud to be selected as a Finalist in the 2022 NC TECH Awards.


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