The Healthcare Hub

A Little Empowerment Goes a Long Way Toward Efficiency

posted by: Talia Mauck
Friday, June 13, 2014

Talia Mauck, director of Supply Chain Management for Adventist HealthCare

So much of healthcare today is about centralization with organizations seeking to increase efficiency and reduce costs. At Adventist HealthCare we’ve found that decentralizing purchasing information by providing key clinical departments access to order status has enabled us to achieve these same benefits.

Before we implemented this strategy, clinical staff members in the Cath Lab and operating room (OR) who ordered supplies for their departments had little or no visibility to the status of their orders. They would submit an order and then go back and forth with the buyers via email and phone to determine if the supplier had sent back a confirmation, when the products would arrive and if anything was on backorder. It was time consuming and frustrating for everyone.

Overall we’ve taken a centralized approach to our purchasing department, automating electronic orders through the GHX Exchange and managing our group purchasing organization (GPO) and local contracts using a central repository. We determined that decentralizing the information from our purchasing process would be a win-win for the Supply Chain department and the clinical departments.

To achieve this, we’ve given the department supply managers in the Cath Lab and OR direct, read-only access to GHX Order Center so they can view order status in real-time, empowering them to manage their orders without having to call or email the buyers and vendors. They can now watch their orders being processed rather than having to rely on the buyers and vendors for updates.

The clinicians love it because they have the information they need at their fingertips and the buyers love it because it relieves them of the time and labor required to research order status and report back to the departments. Because of the success of this strategy in the Cath Lab and OR, we are now determining where in the hospital we will roll it out next.

Mauck will be presenting at the 2014 Premier Annual Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition, June 10-13, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. During her presentation, entitled “Gaining Control of Your Hospital’s Fastest Growing Operating Expense,” she will explore methods for improving an organization’s contract management performance through automation, process and resource optimization. It will take place on Thursday, June 12, 2014, from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in Room 215.