Home' The Source : Third Quarter 2010 Contents In addition to Cookeville Regional Medical Center,
Health Management Associates is also now in a pilot
program for HealthTrust Spend Analytics.
The skyrocketing growth of med-
ical supplies makes controlling ex-
penses even more of an urgent need
for hospitals. HealthTrust's Supply
Chain Consulting initiative equips
a hospital with the information
and guidance it needs to start transforming its sup-
ply chain immediately on engagement. The Supply
Chain Consulting team will perform operational as-
sessments, look at key expense areas for out-of-line
costs and o er recommendations that deliver value
by measurably improving clinical, operational and/
or financial outcomes and e ciencies.
The team's expertise can be applied to any size
facility in multi-disciplinary areas, including supply
chain, surgery, pharmacy, cardiac cath lab, radiol-
ogy and data/financial analysis. You can engage the
team for help with a single area of concern, such
as standardizing a reference lab, or they can tackle
enterprise-wide challenges, including product con-
versions, new technology introductions or policy
and procedure improvements.
The first step is to engage the team for a high-
level opportunity assessment that provides an initial
review of a facility's purchase history. A site visit is
conducted, the data is analyzed and a report is pre-
pared that outlines the opportunities and potential
benefits. After initial recommendations are made,
the facility decides if they will move forward to a
paid consulting engagement in any of the areas listed
above or if they would like to purchase services or
solutions a la carte.
"We look at things like your current spend. If we
find non-contracted items in use, cost comparison
analyses can determine if switching to contracted
items could result in additional savings opportu-
nities," says Steve Tarkington, RN, MSN, MBA,
HealthTrust assistant vice president and executive
leader of Supply Chain Consulting.
The program has a 10-year track record of de-
veloping best practices in supply chain and clini-
cal services. Megan McCaslin, clinical resources
director for HCA North Florida Supply Chain and a
member of HealthTrust, works with HealthTrust's
supply chain consultants to monitor supply costs at
two member hospitals in Columbus, Ga.--- Hughston
Hospital and Doctors Hospital.
"HealthTrust enables me to deliver a quality prod-
uct at a good price to the facilities that I support,"
she says. "Our middle name is resource. We're the
resource to our facilities for clinical product support
Because of such resources and support, when
Columbus Regional purchased Hughston and
Doctors Hospital from HCA, hospital leadership de-
cided to continue its relationship with HealthTrust's
Supply Chain Consulting services. "Our goal is and
always has been to identify where expenses can be
reduced and to put those expense reduction ideas in
place," says Tom Hayes, HCA employee and supply
chain director for the two hospitals. "We're always
trying to identify where costs can be cut throughout
the entire chain---whether in getting the best price
for a product, or in the processing of invoices or
checks, or in how freight is managed."
McCaslin acknowledges the pain that can some-
times come from transforming a facility's supply
chain processes. "Nobody likes change, no matter
who they are or what they do," she says. "But we can
arm them with the tools and information to make
the right decision to support their facilities."
The Supply Chain Consulting team doesn't just
make recommendations and then abandon the facil-
ity. "We work closely with your facilities to execute
on the action plans and recommendations we make,"
Tarkington says. "We can also provide onsite Clinical
Resource Managers to continue to implement the
recommendations long after the initial consulting
engagement has ended."
Any consultant can come in and help you iden-
tify ways to cut costs, says Joan Varner, director,
Supply Chain Consulting, HealthTrust. "But what
sets us apart is that we will help you all the way
through, from assessment to recommendations to
implementation and execution."
Tarkington says the program will continue to
evolve according to member preferences and feed-
back. A natural next phase of the program will likely
be clinical product utilization, where the consulting
team helps facilities identify gaps between "Is this
the lowest-cost item we can find?" and "Do we really
need this particular item at all?" S
Not sure if
you could use
Ask yourself the
to determine if the
might be a useful
cost solution for
• Is your commodity
annually by double
• Is your hospital not
• Are more than 50
percent of your
surgery trays custom
to your facility?
• Do you use more
than one vendor for
• When you bring in a
new product, do you
keep the old, similar
Look for programs at the HTU Conference in August that highlight the new HealthTrust initiatives or
contact your Account Director or visit SCRUBS for more information.
The Source | Third Quarter 2010 29
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