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Defense Medical Logistics Balanced Scorecard

Over the past 2 years, the Defense medical logistics (DML) community has undergone tremendous change that was prompted by the adoption of the Medical Joint Strategic Vision Statement (JVS). The JVS has aligned the actions of the services and healthcare providers, resulting in the creation of the DML Balanced Scorecard (BSC). This marks the first time the DML enterprise, consisting of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the Navy Medical Logistics Command, the Air Force Medical Operations Agency, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, have agreed to be universally accountable and to align and act concurrently in order to reduce redundancies, increase efficiencies, and share resources.

Developing the Joint Strategic Vision

In 2008, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the vice director of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) met to develop a shared vision and set strategic priorities for improving effectiveness and efficiency within the medical supply chain using the synergy among the services. This vision takes the combined Defense healthcare system and uses industry-based business processes to develop one strategic focus. The JVS notes:

The OASD (HA) [Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs] and DLA will further transform the global medical supply chain into a seamless, responsive, synchronized, and interoperable process that enables rapid and reliable sustainment of Joint Force Health Protection in every healthcare environment and across the full range of military operations.

To accomplish this, the DML enterprise identified and prioritized current and future objectives and actions. The resulting analysis showed that the DML community was conducting concurrent and duplicative efforts. To maximize resources and create synergy, the DML enterprise developed joint objectives, assigned officers of primary responsibility, and allocated resources.

Creating the Balanced Scorecard

The DML enterprise developed a DML BSC to maintain and track the efforts needed to achieve the JVS. The DML BSC links requirements with objectives, which are supported by the program initiatives and milestone action items. DML personnel directly contribute to the support of the identified internal processes, which in turn meet the needs of the customers—commanders and healthcare providers. The Force Health Protection Council and the Defense Medical Logistics Supply Chain Council are the governing bodies that provide oversight and guidance while ensuring that resources are available to achieve the vision.

The joint initiative by the DML enterprise used the JVS as a guide to ensure a shared vision and development of joint objectives. The resulting DML BSC is both vertically and institutionally aligned. The vertical alignment with DLA and OASD (HA) ensures that the actions taken by the DML enterprise align with the actions required to support the warfighter. The institutional alignment ensures that resources are provided and accounted for and reduces duplicate efforts throughout the DML community.

The BSC is the focal point of the DML enterprise and gauges the achievement of the JVS by outlining assumptions, approaches, and timelines for completion. The goal is to work with the military services and combatant commands to develop seamless, efficient, and effective medical supply support for joint force health protection across the full spectrum of global military operations. Specific objectives include—

  • Rapidly responding to the materiel needs of military healthcare organizations across the full range of military operations.
  • Providing best-value products and services at the lowest total delivered cost.
  • Improving the sharing and synchronization of DML data so that they are timely, accurate, and relevant across the military medical enterprise and the supporting logistics enterprise.
  • Providing the ability to accurately forecast DML demands across the range of military operations through joint medical modeling and processes for contingency requirements management.
  • Improving the ability to synchronize medical supply-chain activities across organizational boundaries by linking supply with demand.
  • Improving operational medical interoperability and interchangeability through joint, enterprise-level total life-cycle management of medical equipment and assemblages.
  • Delivering to operational settings materiel that enables clinical training, techniques, and the achievement of standards developed in institutional military healthcare systems.
  • Continually striving to reduce costs associated with the Department of Defense healthcare system.
  • Using the Supply-Chain Operations Reference Model to promote the process alignments needed for joint management of the global medical supply-chain DML functions and to provide support to combatant command planning and execution of health service support.

Increasing Standardization

An example of how the JVS drives BSC objectives can be seen in the JVS section entitled Internal Process 06, Strengthen Information Management Processes. This objective calls for developing a seamless, synchronized, and interoperable process within the DML enterprise for actions across the range of military operations. Specifically, this objective entails joint cooperation in developing and publishing both an Enterprise Master Catalog and an Enterprise Data Dictionary. These two products will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of automated logistics systems by increasing the accuracy of item identification and employing a cross-reference capability between national stock number and commercial identifiers. This will increase standardization and drive institutional and operational use of standard items within and across the services.

The Office of Strategy Management provides the joint operational infrastructure for DML and serves as the focal point for strategy management and data integrity. This office uses the commercial web-based software, Enterprise Strategy Manager, to capture and maintain data for the BSC. Each program manager and action officer provides real-time information through Executive Strategy Manager [a web-based software application that assists with the construction of, and reporting on, balanced scorecards], providing transparency of work accomplished and progress.

The DML BSC assists the DLM enterprise in setting priorities, validating “good ideas,” and providing a strategy for the future. Although the DML BSC is in its infancy and will undergo several adjustments, it marks the first time DML professionals have come together and forged a way ahead for medical materiel supply-chain management.

Lieutenant Colonel Greta L. Bennett is the medical logistics planner for U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Howard University and a master of public administration degree from Troy State University and is a graduate of the Army Medical Department Officer Basic Course, the Combined Logistics Officers Advanced Course, and the Army Command and General Staff College.

Peter A. Battaglia is the program manager for the Medical Materiel Executive Agent for the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia. He holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia.

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