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SPECIAL FOCUS


value to patients locally — not centrally. To reinforce its new mindset, Supply Chain renamed itself the Resource En- gineering and Hospitality Group. But this represents more than a cosmetic name change; it’s more of a philosophi- cal and cultural change for the staff as they work to enhance the patient expe- rience. They still analyze all spending and pursue more than $100 million in savings while at least maintaining qual- ity and process efficiency. This group focuses on seven service segments (not necessarily functional areas) that in- clude Clinical Resource Services, Food and Nutrition Services, Environmental Services, Clinical Technology Manage- ment Services, Facilities Engineering Services, Equipment Management and Planning Services and Caregiver Con- sumable Services, all of which represent $6 billion in volume for the system.


computers, Supply Chain automated the entire process by linking into the IDN’s ERP system. Now they’re able to track line item detail by specific loca- tion to facilitate the removal of expired product and record the dollar value of product waste.


analysis to the extent that other orga- nizations visit to gather best-practice ideas for introduction at their own facilities. Six years later, Supply Chain delivers 99.5 percent stock availability, less than 3 percent in supply losses and a 5 percent annual inventory reduction. They also are engaging UCM surgeons in a cost-per-case analysis and utiliza- tion management project that is driving towards at least $10 million in savings.


UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill, NC


www.unchealthcare.org As a state-owned not-for-profit IDN


Tower Health, Reading, PA www.towerhealth.org


While several on this year’s Elite list experienced rapid expansion, none could approach the blazing pace of what had been Reading Hospital and its medium-sized network of outpatient offices just 12 months ago. Within the last year, the small single teaching hos- pital system ballooned to a six-hospital system with two teaching hospitals and a large network of outpatient offices spanning several counties in southeastern Pennsylvania. Prior to the expansion, the Supply Chain team de- veloped a reputation for implementing best practices and using data analytics to improve financial and operational performance as well as improving oper- ating room inventory management and replenishment. As the system continues to coalesce and gel operationally and technologically, Supply Chain spotted one area needing immediate expertise: Performing product expiration audits via handheld technology. Because their inventory management system didn’t easily and accurately capture expira- tion date-code information, Supply Chain conducted field audits manu- ally, reporting on clipboards at supply locations. By using existing hand-held


of 11 affiliate hospitals anchored by a university, UNC strives to bridge the gulf between clinically integrated and industrial supply chains. UNC Health Care’s Supply Chain team implemented RFID-enabled inventory management technology at the system’s new Heart and Vascular hospital in Raleigh, NC, and plans on deploying the technology at additional heart and vascular loca- tions. They’re using this data not only to improve patient care but also to help sup- pliers adjust their production schedules for changes in clinical demand. Internally, Supply Chain is making it easier for clini- cians to participate in logistics and value analysis by reducing and simplifying the number of steps in the product and service decision-making process.


The University of Vermont Health Network, Burlington, VT


University of Chicago Medicine


www.uchicagomedicine.org When HPN launched its Elite list in 2011 the magazine highlighted 18 Supply Chain departments making a difference with the intent that these 18 represented Supply Chain Operations to Watch going forward. In short, once you made the list you were on the list indefinitely because it was expected the Elite would continue innovating as industry leaders. The University of Chicago Hospital earned a spot on the 2012 list, becoming one of the Elite 11 recognized that year. Yet through operational and organizational transi- tions they made a compelling case for inclusion in an expanded list this year. UCM’s Supply Chain still excels in lean operations, RFID, Kanban, strategic sourcing and clinically driven value


www.uvmhealth.org Like University of Chicago Medicine, The University of Vermont Health Net- work represents the second of two early Elite listers that have changed identi- ties through expansion all the while continuing to improve operations and innovate services. UVM initially made the inaugural Elite 18 list seven years ago as a smaller organization known as Fletcher Allen Health Care. Since then and under the same leadership with C-suite connections, UVM Supply Chain continues to deliver and excel in a variety of key areas through human and technological ingenuity. First, they concentrate on meaningful informatics with detailed category benchmarking to drive clinical contracting, standard- ization and value analysis programs as well as a clean item master, courtesy of such companies as BroadJump, ECRI Institute, SCWorx and Vizient. Second, they enhance business practices by cultivating talent that includes busi- ness, clinical and legal minds but also extends outside of healthcare. Supply Chain’s critical thinkers have created a “culture of constant improvement and education, with an obsession over savings and cost-avoidance measure- ment.” In fact, the team achieved nearly $14 million in cost reduction and cost avoidance in fiscal 2018, and during the last seven fiscal years their efforts resulted in nearly $65 million in sav- ings. Third, they emphasize and focus on the concept of “one supply chain,” communicating consistently with one another and collaborating together to serve their clinical customers who ulti- mately serve the patients. HPN


hpnonline.com • HEALTHCARE PURCHASING NEWS • December 2018 15

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