MedStar Health web photo 1

MedStar Health consolidated its supply chain operations to increase buying power and improve consistency in patient outcomes.

By Tim O’Connor

When John Wright joined MedStar Health in 2014 he found the healthcare provider had a large but fragmented supply chain system. The organization had consolidated its purchasing process, but there were still opportunities to improve its approach to contracting, logistics and services. MedStar lacked a clinical value analysis, and decisions around product utilization were being made at the entity level instead of the system level.

In the past three years, MedStar has expanded its supply chain contracting department so it could execute system-level agreements and negotiate contracts for the organization as a whole instead of through separate divisions. “We run on extremely small margins, and the rising costs of medical equipment and medical supplies forces us to look at standardization,” says Wright, MedStar’s vice president of system supply.

Service New Brunswick web photo

New Brunswick is taking steps to improve its healthcare supply chain.

By Alan Dorich

When providing support to the healthcare system for a province, you need quality facilities and equipment, along with a driven staff to provide quality care. Service New Brunswick’s Health Services division makes sure it follows through on that mission, Ann Dolan says.

“The keys to success are the people involved in the department – our team – who are very dedicated not only to their respective positions, but the clients they serve: the patients of New Brunswick,” she declares. “By understanding the vision of the organization and the connection of the strategic plan, the team is able to execute their work plans successfully.”

Dolan is the executive director of strategic procurement for the Health Services division, which supports New Brunswick’s two health authorities. The Horizon Health Network serves the cities of Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton and Miramichi and the Upper River Valley, while the Vitalité Health Network also serves Moncton, as well as the Acadian Peninsula, Bathurst, Campbellton and Edmundston.

Aspirus web photo

Aspirus’ head of supply chain has modernized the company’s systems and cut costs.

By Chris Kelsch

Like many healthcare systems throughout the United States, Aspirus has met some very strong headwinds in recent years. Chief among these is managing the ever-increasing cost of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and capital equipment, while still trying to manage better outcomes for its patients.

“Medical products are getting more expensive, and reimbursements keep getting lower and lower,” says Gary Rakes, vice president of supply chain. “In addition to that, the aging of baby boomers and their increasing demand for healthcare services continues to add stress to all health systems.”

Managing those challenges is exactly why Rakes joined the Aspirus team. He was brought onboard 15 months ago to help reduce costs and modernize Aspirus’ supply chain system. “We’re on a three- to five-year journey,” Rakes says. “But so far, the results have been very positive.”

Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia web photo 2

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia shifted its supply chain from a cost-first mindset to focus more on the patient experience.

One of the biggest challenges in managing a supply chain for a children’s hospital is the varying size of the patients. Some are nearly full grown adults while others can be held in the palm of a hand. Products that an adult hospital can get from a single supplier require sourcing from multiple suppliers for pediatric hospitals. Simply managing the dose of medication accurately requires automation for precision and can result in tremendous waste due to supplier packaging.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is one of the leading children’s hospitals in the United States and around the world. CHOP operates a 535-bed hospital in Philadelphia and has an outpatient network that has grown to more than 50 locations spanning across southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Additionally, CHOP manages many pediatric services in community hospitals in the Philadelphia region and suburbs. CHOP has treated international patients from over 90 different countries around the globe.

TPC web photo

TPC helps hospitals achieve significant economies of scale by collaborating as a single, highly committed contracting entity.

By Alan Dorich

It has been said that culture trumps strategy, and it is TPC’s culture of innovation and commitment that enables its hospital members to endure the highs and lows of the increasingly volatile healthcare market, President and CEO Geoff Brenner says. “Culturally, we have developed into a very fluid and adaptable organization that consistently achieves market-leading results amid unprecedented industry disruption,” he says.

Based in Plano, Texas, TPC is a hospital-owned coalition that focuses on innovative cost-reduction strategies within supply chain, purchased services and clinical product utilization. Its history goes back to 2007 when several large health systems conducted a study to measure the true value of consolidation.

“The results of the study revealed that as much as 80 percent of the anticipated financial value generated by hospital consolidation could potentially be achieved by collaborating as a single, committed contracting entity and if successful, it would diminish the need to merge assets,” Brenner explains, noting that the group ultimately chose not to merge assets but rather to form a highly-committed partnership by creating TPC.


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