Supplier diversity has taken on an entirely new meaning in light of 2020. Today, traditional supplier diversity programs within the supply chain are giving way to more strategic, collaborative approaches between healthcare providers and small and local businesses. This sentiment is especially prevalent in light of the pandemic, with a recent survey showing the majority of consumers want to support small businesses in their community to keep their local economy and jobs afloat.
Supplier diversity supports both business and clinical progress. It is a fundamental component to improve inclusiveness and equality in healthcare, build trust between patients and providers, and improve health outcomes.
While supplier diversity once meant including minority- and women-owned business, today it includes:
· Minority-owned (MBEs)
· Women-owned (WBEs)
· Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-owned (LGBT)
· Veteran-owned (VBE)
· Service disabled veteran-owned (SDVO)
· Small business owner (SBE), as defined by the Small Business Administration
Today, diverse suppliers are addressing some of the most significant issues in healthcare.
To underscore how healthcare providers can partner with diverse suppliers to drive both business and clinical progress, Premier has developed a white paper that presents suppliers on the front line of providing creative, high-quality solutions to address the following healthcare challenges:
- The COVID-19 pandemic
- Increasing demand for telehealth services
- The opioid crisis
- The increased prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension
- Improving patient health education and community health awareness
- Innovative strategies to combat rising healthcare costs
In addition, healthcare providers are leveraging diverse suppliers and their unique programs to impact health outcomes across the population as well as for diverse communities. The multiplier effect of these programs can drive better healthcare outcomes, strengthen local economies and develop a more robust supplier diversity ecosystem for the healthcare industry.
Diverse suppliers fill an important gap in the supply chain. Their size and agility often make them better suited for projects that are of an emergent nature. While the ability to “turn on a dime” is most important during a crisis, many diverse suppliers demonstrate the ability to provide value-added services and products on a regular basis.
Diversity is a consistent theme in healthcare, and Premier members are identifying ways to improve healthcare outcomes, reduce costs and improve the patient experience.
Members have invested in programs that reduce health disparities in underserved communities and developed supplier ecosystems that leverage diverse suppliers, as well as built deep relationships with community-based organizations dedicated to improving health. These initiatives speak to the broader issue of how healthcare organizations can leverage diversity with suppliers, consumers, employees and their communities to drive an improved, more sustainable American healthcare industry.
Underserved and minority patient populations continue to be hardest hit by the leading health issues affecting the world today. At the same time, consumers are looking to the entities within their communities - including their local healthcare providers - to help support their small, local and diverse businesses. What better time than now to re-examine the supportive role that supplier diversity plays in combating some of the world’s leading health issues?
Learn more about supplier diversity and strategies to improve inclusiveness, equality and outcomes in healthcare.