Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), Vol 7, No 3 (2015)

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e-Learning to create a community of learning and practice for supply chain management in healthcare

Griet Samyn, Manusika Rai, Carole Piriou


The article advances and describes a new way to strengthen the capacity of health workers in the domain of supply chain management of medicines. Although the focus on SCM in health is relatively recent, a well-functioning supply chain system embedded within the overall health system is nowadays recognized as a prerequisite for the continuous availability of quality health commodities. Availability of medicines directly improves the quality of patient care and also enhances trust in the health system, especially by those in need. Efforts to build capacity and improve skills in SCM have moved between in-service training of practising health workers towards introducing the discipline as part of pre-service university programs. The attempt to create a Community of Learning and Practice through the use of e-learning, is an approach meant to transcend the difference and shortcomings of both pre- and in-service trainings and prepare health workers for the new job expectations of today and tomorrow. Some advantages and drawbacks of e-learning are explored in more detail, and solutions suggested. A case study is described where participants who followed an introductory SCM course in a pre-service setting as well as others who enrolled in an in-service session online have all become part of an alumni course where the availability of updated content, topical discussions and exchange of experiences is continuously guaranteed. Although more research and surveys are required, it is expected that belonging to an active online community on SCM in healthcare will not only reinforce capacity and improve the availability of medicines, but lead to broader HR advantages in healthcare.

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Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL)
ISSN 2073-7904


Maintained and Developed by:

Laboratory for Knowledge Management & E-Learning

Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong