Published 07/10/12

Taking cues from military health care

Michael GravierThe civilian medical world could learn a lot from U.S. military medicine, whose operations allow doctors to deliver care with great efficiency, according to global supply chain expert Michael Gravier, assistant professor of marketing.

"The military in some ways is quite far ahead of the civilian world of health care. They have a plan, and they have the means to impose order on the many moving parts that are needed to deliver good health care," Gravier told Defense News. Gravier is a former U.S. Air Force major with 12 years in the service, and much of his research has focused on culling best practices from military health care.

Among the reasons Gravier cites for the military efficiency:

  • It operates within a bottom-line budget. "The system has grown based on need for patient care rather than just on the availability of funding," he told Defense News.
  • The military buys in bulk.

On the other hand, Gravier told the newspaper, the private sector is more effective at "communicating needs across organizations, an area where the military sometimes comes up short."

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