The Healthcare Hub

Identifying Levers to Reducing Supply Chain Costs

posted by: Cheryl Flury
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Starting on the journey to supply chain transformation can be daunting. Summit attendees know that they need to reduce costs, and that the supply chain is one area where savings can be achieved. But how can an organization know where or how to start on their journey? One of the Summit tracks today was dedicated to this topic and brought providers together to share their experiences in using the supply chain to reduce costs.

Speaking to the eager crowd were representatives from the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA), Texas Children’s Hospital, University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Hackensack University Medical Center.

Règine Honorè Villain, corporate director of supply chain management and the MUHA (and winner of the first GHXcellence Supply Chain Leadership Award) discussed how her organization reengineered its supply chain in only 12 months. MUHA’s accomplishments so far include a reduction in non-catalog procurement by 42 percent and increase in invoice automation to 94 percent. Faced with the familiar problem of the need to reduce operational costs while supporting new strategic clinical and revenue integration initiatives, Villain explained how her team broke down silos and began solving supply chain issues by raising its profile and showing key constituents how it is critical in enabling hospital operations. Her tips for getting C-suite buy in? Letting the data tell the story and not taking “no” for an answer!

Ransome Shirley, purchasing manager of supply chain services at Texas Children’s Hospital, explained to attendees how the hospital’s supply chain management team is on the “path to the perfect order,” through leveraging procurement and spend management tools to extend and automate business processes. Ransome walked the audience through how his team utilized the different solutions to eliminate gaps and develop the ability to easily and efficiently clean and manage its item file, update contract pricing and validate price against each purchase order.

To close out the day, attendees heard from representatives from two organizations on the GHX list of the Best 50 providers - Britt Yingling, corporate director of supply chain operations at the UMMS and Richard Killeen, director of purchasing, Lisa Maxted, senior buyer, and Anthony Montalbano, senior buyer at Hackensack University Medical Center. The presenters discussed how being named to the Best 50 isn’t an accident, and walked through the steps they took to significantly change their performance and rise in the annual rankings. From UMMS’ approach to join the Best 50 in 2011 as part of a five-year strategic plan (and its jump from number 34 in 2011 to number 10 in 2012), to Hackensack’s accomplishment of rising from 441 among GHX provider accounts to the top 10 in 18 months, attendees learned that planning and clear visions are the keys to driving performance and adopting new processes for incredible results.