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Bolstering our distribution footprint in Canada

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Cardinal Health recently took a significant step to bolster domestic medical product storage capabilities in Canada with the opening of a new 163,000 square-foot distribution center in Ontario, increasing the distribution footprint in Canada to more than 1.2 million square feet.

It is also the first facility fully dedicated to Cardinal Health’s ValueLink® logistics service that provides healthcare facilities with streamlined, unit-specific orders.  ValueLink® provides data-driven analytics on customer’s actual product usage, so that orders and deliveries are customized down to the department or supply room.

For short and long-term performance, the Canadian healthcare system relies on clinically effective products and a reliable, resilient supply chain. As a manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products with advanced supply chain planning solutions and robotic innovation, Cardinal Health is uniquely positioned to help tackle Canada’s surgical backlog and partner to support long-term solutions to improve health systems and patient outcomes.

To learn more about how these supply chain investments provide value to the Canadian healthcare system, we interviewed Cardinal Health Canada President Russell Schuster.  

Q:  How would you describe some of the challenges currently experienced by the Canadian healthcare system?

The challenges are complex and multifaceted. Even now, the healthcare system is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated a backlog of surgical and diagnostic procedures and created longer wait times for patients with urgent care needs. An aging population, staffing shortages, and lack of space have resulted in what is often referred to as “hallway medicine”—a term that describes patients who receive treatment in busy hospital corridors. The healthcare system also needs higher quality, actionable data that tracks health outcomes and system performance on provincial and national levels. And, one of the greatest challenges in the short-term is the need to navigate urgent procedural triage concerns while simultaneously forging a sustainable path forward for healthcare delivery long-term. 

Q: How are we helping to improve the resilience of Canada’s healthcare supply chain?

As we work to be healthcare’s most trusted partner, we acknowledge our shared responsibility to

help improve the system and enhance health outcomes for all Canadians. In Canada, Cardinal Health has an expansive healthcare distribution footprint, servicing more than 95% of hospitals, 6,000+ surgery centers and 3,000 long-term care facilities. Our distribution network supports more than 40,000 delivery touch points across Canada.

Innovation in products, treatment and prevention continue to evolve across various domains in healthcare. At Cardinal Health, we know that advancement and innovation also need to be applied to how we think about medical product supply chain planning, storage and delivery.

Cardinal Health has invested in advanced digital supply chain planning capabilities to provide end-to-end, global visibility and transparency, while factoring in seasonality and pandemic planning. The platform supports healthcare providers with the ability to make fast, confident decisions about their medical product needs by using advanced insights and analytics in real time. We also introduced robots into our warehouse in Quebec and our newest location in Ontario. The deployment of robotics is part of our commitment to enhance automation and drive efficiencies in our supply chain and operations across the enterprise.

Q: The newest distribution center in Ontario is fully dedicated to ValueLink® logistics service. How does this service provide value to the Canadian healthcare system?

ValueLink® is an advanced distribution solution providing unit-specific orders to meet customer needs which reduces touch points in the supply chain. ValueLink® provides data-driven analytics on actual usage so that orders are placed in the appropriate unit of measure, picked and delivered in totes and carts for each department or supply rooms. This means that health systems’ staff spend less time ordering, receiving and distributing, and empowers them to focus on what matters most: providing care to patients.

ValueLink® seamlessly integrates with hospital operations and leverages the strength of our relationships with suppliers and our transportation fleet, as well as deep supply chain analysis and management expertise, to provide facilities with the right product in the right place at the right time. This solution is critical for Canada: it removes the supply chain operations burden from hospitals and provides cost effective value to the system, where staff shortages, space constraints, and rising healthcare costs are ongoing concerns.

Q: How does opening a distribution center in Ontario support the healthcare supply chain needs for the rest of Canada?

Thanks to our new Ontario distribution center, our National Replenishment Center now has more capacity to store and supply products to the rest of our network across Canada – and this strengthens the overall resilience of our medical product supply chain.

Having more products available domestically allows us to respond more quickly to the needs of our customers.  

Cardinal Health has strong relationships with large, respected global suppliers; our scale and size allows us to provide value and continuity of supply. In addition, we have 27 manufacturing sites around the world, and 43 distribution centers in North America, nine of which are in Canada.

Because we are both manufacturer and distributor of medical products, we carry clinically equivalent products to offer continuity of care to healthcare providers when there are supply disruptions.

By diversifying suppliers and strengthening domestic storage capabilities, we are helping Canada’s healthcare system mitigate some of the risks associated with future supply chain disruptions to ensure a more reliable flow of essential medical products. We help ensure that care providers have access to the right products, in the right quantities, at the right time for their patients.

Q:  What lays ahead for Cardinal Health Canada and the Canadian healthcare system?

We are excited about our investment in Canada’s healthcare infrastructure. We recognized the system’s need to have access to more medical products domestically and our investment enhances our supply chain responsiveness and resilience which we believe supports better healthcare outcomes for Canadians. We are always evaluating the needs of our network and we will continue to improve our processes and find efficiencies to improve service for our customers.

We believe in strong, transparent collaboration with stakeholders, including government and healthcare providers. We stand ready to work alongside them because together, we can build a sustainable, advanced healthcare system that Canadians deserve. Cardinal Health aspires to be healthcare’s most trusted partner and we take pride in empowering healthcare providers to deliver care with confidence.

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Cardinal Health is a distributor of pharmaceuticals, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical and laboratory products, and a provider of performance and data solutions for healthcare facilities. Subscribe to our News Alerts to get all of our latest news.