The Healthcare Hub

Your Data, Their Trust

Friday, August 10, 2018

The quality of supply chain data is critical to so many operations within a health system. It really is the foundation for success. At our most recent Supply Chain Summit, representatives from TransForm Shared Service Organization presented their data story on the Summit20 stage.

It is likely a familiar story for many providers over the last four or five years — multiple materials management information systems (MMIS) usually due to a merger or two, multiple item masters, and a past-due need to implement automation in a particular process, in this case requisitioning. 

A transition to a new back-end ERP system and consolidating item masters to a single file constituted one effort. The team being alert to the impact of data coming from multiple systems took some steps to clean up the data leading up to the final conversion, but in the end, the data was still a conglomeration of good and bad. The requisitioning implementation, though technically successful, highlighted the importance of engagement with their customers and maintaining relationships.

The overarching take-away was that technology enables, but a foundation of good data and engagement with their customers was critical to relationships that drive positive outcomes.

Next steps included:

  • Utilizing technology to cleanse data
  • Engaging clinicians to tune item descriptions for better search experience
  • Identifying on-contract items through data matching in the ERP
  • Ramping up skills on the data analytics team
  • Providing a purchasing specialist and more training for requisitioners on the new system
  • Replacing product evaluations with value analysis teams

The results have been favorable. Open and transparent conversations with clinicians based on cleansed data and meaningful reporting, led to a better understanding of financial relevancy on purchasing decisions. Engaging in impartial discussions based on quality data has built better relationships. And, additional training, standardization of operating procedures and closing the loop on customer requests is rebuilding trust with buyers. TransForm acknowledges this as an iterative process, but by gaining these relationships with their hospitals, there is renewed trust in supply chain to support them through any supply issues.

Learn more details of this positive transforming journey in the Summit20 video.