SPECIAL FOCUS From page 14

standardized at the organization level — without having to install hardware or go through a rigorous implementation at every location will greatly reduce staff time and investment.

John Cunningham, Lumere • Materials management information system — A materials management information system will enable the ASC to, at a minimum, address its order process- ing and inventory and data management needs with automation. By doing so, the ASC will increase the reliability and effectiveness of its Supply Chain as well as provide the data necessary to manage the Supply Chain.

• ASC-specific EMR — An EMR should be tailored specifically to the unique needs of an ASC, without features and functions that are not relevant to the facility. With the growing types of procedures that ASCs are licensed to perform, the need to document and retain electronic records for patients is ever more important. For example, in the future, when ASCs are performing primary arthroplasty procedures on Medicare covered lives, the longer-term retention of implant records will be required.

• Instrument tracking — With these new procedures will come a whole new set of instrumentation and, like the inpatient surgical suites in the mid-80s, ASCs will require IT to aid in the management of the instru- mentation, thus a tracking system can provide benefit to the ASC.

Michael DeLuca, Executive Vice President, Operations, Prodigo Solutions Inc. • Extend the footprint of your ERP into your non-acute care setting. Leverage the economies of scale it pro- vides.

• Use a marketplace to extend the ERP and provide the same level of eCommerce shopping the non-acute care employee desires, but with added compliance and controls in the background.

• Use Inventory/PAR management where needed. Do not let it be a decision for company business. It likely is overkill in most non-acute care settings.

• Use hardware agnostic technology to drive efficiencies and for track and trace purposes. This will decrease your technology footprint, but provide the same level of control and sophistication.

• Apply the same big data, analytics and visualization technologies for non-acute care, non-clinical spend as you likely already do with clinical spend.

• Integration of technology costs money and makes upgrades harder…decide on the right mix of “best in breed” versus “good enough.” Non-acute care settings are not a supply chain mystery. They are a smaller version of acute care setting that in aggregate make a similar impact.

Scott Jackson, Henry Schein Inc. Here are five examples of Materials Management functionality that can be adopted by ASCs. This functionality can come by either fully adopt- ing existing ASC operating system’s inventory functionality, and/or investing in bolt-on MMIS

technology platforms that interface into existing operating systems. • EDI Functionality — EDI functionality, when utilized, allows for multiple vendor electronic ordering from one platform, automatic invoice reconciliation and effective price management with pricing acknowl- edgements and advanced price change notifications

• Manage Perpetual Inventory — Always know how much inventory is on hand by utilizing available technology

• Manage PAR Levels — Set mins and maxes so that you don’t stock out, have too much and or too little inventory on hand

• Incorporate Bar-code and or RFID technology — Utilize your smart phones to automate the ordering process with highly efficient barcode and RFID order- ing as this can cut ordering time in half


Winfield: Data and technology can help you visualize and know where the majority of your spend goes, and therefore, suppliers are more important or strategic to your objectives. Data can help you make strategic choices around which suppliers and products truly need to be managed. Using data to educate physicians is an indispensable

asset. Data offering perspective in terms of both cost and outcomes factually illustrates to physicians, and all stakeholders for that matter, the challenges at hand. This can assist in developing physician champions, and identifying outliers that drive peer discussions. Data displaying surgeon, cost-per-case with implants and supplies allow visibility to illustrate how switching preference items will affect not only costs, but also whether it affects patient outcomes. All stakeholders are ultimately driving improved

patient outcomes and safety through integrated systems to reduce errors and streamline procurement via automation.

Lawrence: • Electronic 3-way match and invoice approval — I started my career as an auditor/CPA, so electronic three-way matching as an afterthought causes me pain. How many organizations just pay an invoice and hope that the quantity and price are accurate? The CPA in me wants to stand on my chair and shout, “make a three-way match!” Create a PO with accurate pricing, make sure you record the receipt transaction so you know the quantity that should be paid for, and ensure the invoice matches the confirmed price and quantity. Stop hoping the invoice is accurate. Know that it is! And if it isn’t, stop and save the money.

• Automate a high percentage of order confirma- tions — Hidden within the EDI discussion is the very important order confirmation process. Often ASC team members need to shift among multiple roles, so it’s hard to find time to confirm that orders are received and being processed. By combining EDI technology and advanced email confirmation tools, users can confirm a very high percentage of orders electronically. When this information is delivered back


into the supply chain system, users can simply manage orders by exception.

Cunningham: • Preference cards — Regardless of care setting, updating preference cards often feels like a daunting task. However, given the lean margin space of ASCs, using technology to aid in working with high-volume physicians to review and update cards can significantly reduce cost per case and clinical variation. It also leads to better inventory management.

• Broader device catalog — Because ASCs have histori- cally had a more limited portfolio of procedures and less device intensity, they largely have not needed access to a broad catalog of medical devices for comparison of equivalence, attributes and safety data. However, with the growth in device-related outpatient procedures, ASC will require and benefit from technol- ogy that provides greater insight into the selection of devices.

• Learning management system — ASC have tra- ditionally been able to operate with a much smaller compliment of staff who perform multiple functions rather than the specialization that we see in the in- patient surgical suite. For example, an ASC may have surgical technicians that perform scrub nurse, instru- ment technician and supply chain functions. However, as the complexity of ASC procedures increase, these functions are becoming more and more difficult to not specialize, leading to broadening education and training backgrounds of the ASC staff. As a result, ASCs will benefit from a learning management system that can aid in providing the required training to a more diverse staffing mix.

DeLuca: Not much obscure about it: Use your centralized sup- ply chain organization to decide how to best service the non-acute care entities, then drive compliance and control by extending your existing IT footprint into the setting, leveraging existing economies of scale, and driving the most efficient, cost justified distribu- tion process. Put contracts in place with pricing that represents committed volume, and use the process you have designed to live up to those commitments. If your users want an Amazon experience, give them one that is controlled by leveraging a marketplace that provides the shopping experience of Amazon, but the content control of Google.

Jackson: • Invest in auto-replenishing technology that knows what your PAR levels are, and that automatically cre- ates POs that are electronically sent to your vendor partners, thereby eliminating the manual component of ordering.

• Invest in a Physician Preference Item (PPI) Bench- marking platform. There are new, cloud-based PPI Benchmarking systems that allow hospitals and ASCs to better understand how their PPI costs for PPI items compare to those costs at other hospitals and ASCs. This can be an excellent negotiating tool when you are attempting to drive down the high costs of implants and devices.

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