The Healthcare Hub

Be a Change Leader!

posted by: Cheryl Flury
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Leading change within an organization is not a simple task, but elevating supply chain management to a strategic enterprise initiative is critical in the new age of healthcare. And because the theme of Healthcare Supply Chain Summit is “We are Change,” you can bet it’s the topic of quite a few sessions.

Doug Sabotin, director of Lean Six Sigma at Columbus Regional Health, said that there are three critical areas to focus on to become a successful change leader: 1) align the change to your company’s strategic goals; 2) create an environment in which change is accepted and embraced; and 3) ensure that you have identified and engaged the key stakeholders influencing (both positively and negatively) the change process. One must also not forget that during all aspects of the change process, to continuously tie in value and relevancy.  

But how is this applied in the real world? Alan Edwards, regional director supply chain at Adventist Health System, and John Martin, regional lead for integrated supply services at Champlain Health Supply Services, shared with some candid accounts of how they revamped their supply chain processes and achieved fundamental transformations for their businesses.

According to Martin, Champlain’s goal was to build an integrated supply chain system that would improve the performance of the 12 hospitals it serves and generate $32.5 million in supply chain savings over a 10-year period for use in direct patient care. This was a major undertaking, but Martin tackled it by addressing three areas: technology, business processes and resources. From a technology perspective, Champlain began working with GHX. In terms of business processes and resources, Martin created a governance structure to ensure that all parties lived up to commitments and that the collaborative effort was sustainable. He also formed an operations group made up of representatives from all participating hospitals to be engaged, accountable and review supply chain opportunities. This is a very quick overview of how Martin was a change agent within Champlain – I encourage you to read the case study I linked to above to find out more!    

Today, we have learned that there are certainly some universal truths for being a change agent and achieving successful transformations. These include connecting all activities back to customer value, creating a sustainable, flexible plan and identifying and reporting on the metrics that demonstrate success.

We’ll continue to bring you updates from the Summit here at the Healthcare Hub, but to keep up with the action in real time, follow #GHX13 on Twitter.