Working in New York City for 11 years, Brian Bravo thought he had faced some of supply chain’s most complex challenges. Then he came to Florida.
Bravo is celebrating 10 years at Broward Health, a large public healthcare system in South Florida.
“It was my first time working in a public healthcare system,” he says, speaking of Broward Health. “It was – and is – very different from what I was used to.”
Bravo found the complexity of public health nerve-wracking at first. “We’re very regulated, and we can’t be as flexible as other hospitals. It can be extremely challenging to manage supply chain in that environment.” But he’s a quick study, and benefited from the experience of his peers at Broward Health, who have helped him along the way. “Every year, we learn something new. We’ve been very successful. I guess 10 years makes you wiser.”
Bravo believes he – and Broward Health’s entire Corporate Resource & Materials Management team – have much to celebrate on his 10-year anniversary, starting with the work they have done automating the procurement and requisitioning processes.
“When I arrived, everything was done by paper requisition. Our staff were pretty much acting as clerks, because they were handling so much paper.” So, Phase 1 of the GHX project was transforming the supply chain into an electronic environment, implementing electronic data interchange with vendors.
The second phase involved rolling out electronic requisitioning to all Broward Health employees. “It was a big change for them, as they were used to using paper,” Bravo explains. With GHX’s help, the supply chain team cleansed the item master, and substituted fuller, richer product descriptions than what end users had seen to that point. “It was extremely difficult for the first six months, but people started seeing the benefits of the electronic format,” he recalls. For example, they could place their orders more quickly, and track their orders. “It went very well, and we still benefit from it.”
The next step will be implementing Prodigo Solutions® to lend an “Amazon” or “Google” look and feel to the requisitioning process. “The customer experience will be much better,” he says. “End users will have more information when ordering, and their breadth of products will grow as well.”
Partly because of the work Bravo and his team have done, Broward Health received a Healthcare Supply Chain Award from ECRI in 2014 – its second such award from the nonprofit company. Bravo says Broward Health received the award because of its ability to capture a large percentage of supplies and equipment – including physician-preference items – under contract, and to monitor exactly what products are coming in to the health system. “It’s that aspect of control and getting everything on contract that keeps us where we are in regard to pricing and supply chain [excellence],” he says.
Group purchasing, vendor credentialing
In 2007, Bravo made the decision to move to MedAssets for group purchasing. “It’s been a great relationship,” he says. “They keep providing tools to enhance our supply chain, including consultants to look at process improvement. And the breadth of products available through MedAssets is huge.”
Last year, Broward Health was recognized by vendor credentialing firm IntelliCentrics – which operates the Reptrax credentialing service – with the company’s 5 Rings Award for vendor compliance with the IDN’s credentialing program. “We pride ourselves on any system we implement, and we make sure it gets implemented to maximum capacity,” says Bravo. Vendor credentialing is important to hospitals from a risk management perspective. But Bravo selected IntelliCentrics because it allows vendors to go to other IntelliCentrics facilities without incurring additional fees. “We were looking out for the vendor community,” he says.
Bravo keeps learning on the job in supply chain. But last year, he was offered the opportunity to expand his healthcare knowledge and experience in a new way – by serving on the board of Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, which is Broward Health’s pediatric outpatient facility. “It’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen,” he says.
Serving on the board has given Bravo an appreciation for how policy can change the structure of a facility and accomplish good things. “I’m learning how important leadership is to an organization, and how you can make a difference personally, which can be carried on forever. It is truly helping to make an impact at a higher level.”