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Northeastern University

Intro to Managing Healthcare Supply Chain Operations

Northeastern University via Coursera


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This course is best suited for individuals currently in the healthcare sector, as a provider, payer, or administrator. Individuals pursuing a career change to the healthcare sector may also be interested in this course. In this course, you will have an opportunity to explore concepts and topics related to the design and management of operations and supply chains in the healthcare sector. After an introduction to operations and supply chain management, you will examine the different dimensions and principles of quality and reflect on approaches to operational process improvement. Throughout this course, you will be given the opportunity to apply the course concepts to an operational process improvement project.


  • Overview of Healthcare Supply Chain Operations
    • The Covid-19 pandemic brought about many supply chain challenges including material shortages, labor shortages, and capacity limitations. This highlights the need to understand and effectively manage supply chain operations. In this module we’ll focus on the definition of operations and supply chain management, the continuum of care, and other factors driving healthcare. You’ll explore the key challenges in healthcare supply chains, and examine why healthcare providers need to pay greater attention to these crucial areas of their operations.
  • Operations Processes
    • In many healthcare organizations, the design and management of operations processes is not clear. As a result, there are many activities done that do not necessarily add value to the process and ultimately hinder effective care delivery. In this module, the idea of process thinking is emphasized. Process thinking is a way of viewing activities in an organization as a collection of processes and that the outcome is a result of the process. To improve outcomes, you have to address the steps in the process.
  • Managing Quality
    • Quality is an important consideration in healthcare by customers or patients, organizations, and government agencies. It has many dimensions depending on who is defining it. For example, a patient’s experience at a hospital’s waiting room will influence their perception of the quality of care received at that facility. At the same time, if they do not get well after treatment, they may perceive the treatment received and the provider as of low quality. In this module, you will examine the concept of quality and quality management in healthcare.
  • Lean Systems and Quality Control
    • Building upon the concept of quality as it was explored in the previous module, this module will now define quality in terms of waste management and quality control. Toyota Production Systems originally outlined seven lean wastes that occur in operational processes. Now, you will learn more about Lean principles, controlling waste in the healthcare setting, and how to improvement approaches to managing waste and improving quality within the organization.

Taught by

Gilbert Nyaga


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