Ethan Hung poses with people from Allina Health.

Ethan Hung: Uncovering Insights in Healthcare Supply Chains

Thursday, December 7, 2023

A sense of purpose drives Ethan Hung, MSBA ‘23 and MBA ‘23. After completing two degrees in his native Taiwan, Hung worked in process improvement roles in the manufacturing and transportation industries. “During my career in Taiwan, I learned I like solving problems,” he says. “I came to study in the U.S. because I want to solve bigger, more complex problems.” That goal led Hung to the Carlson School, where he enrolled in the dual MBA-MSBA program. He finished his MSBA degree in May and is wrapping up his MBA coursework this semester.

During his time as a Carlson student, Hung intentionally sought out projects from the healthcare industry to add to his resume. Post graduation, he hopes to build a career in supply chain management and analytics. “Working in the healthcare industry appeals to me because of the sense of purpose,” says Hung. “The end product is patient care, solving life problems. And the supply chains are complex, highly regulated, and quality oriented.”

As an MSBA student, Hung worked on predictive analytics project for a major health insurance provider. The experiential learning project confirmed his interest in the industry. A summer internship with Allina Health, a nonprofit healthcare provider operating in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, provided additional valuable experience.

During the internship,Hung rotated through various supply chain functions. He spent days shadowing the supply chain VP, attending meetings and interacting with team members involved in the complexities of keeping a hospital system stocked. In addition, he used his data analytics skills to uncover important insights for his Allina team.

“When there are discrepancies in product counts in the system, the hospital can’t pay the supplier, which can result in a credit hold or other serious issues,” says Hung. He consulted with various people familiar with the issue, and analyzed transaction data in search of patterns. He found that over 50% of discrepancies were related to consignment products, a particular category with some unique characteristics. The discovery, and the KPI dashboard Hung built to track the issue, will help Allina make important improvements. 

“The data told the story,” says Hung.