Patrick Broos

Patrick Broos

Director, supply chain management | Catawba Valley Health System

JHC: What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on recently?

Broos: Catawba Valley Health System (CVHS) recently upgraded their IR/Cath lab imaging equipment to a new manufacturer where we had been with a previous company for 13-15 years. As one can imagine, the relationship and partnership between companies ran deep. From the field service tech to CVHS’ Clinical Tech staff, and from the physician/clinician to the field engineer and account manager – they were all very close.

As CVHS opened the opportunity to upgrade the equipment, I was tasked to lead the business aspect, whereas my colleague Carl Becker, Director of Heart & Vascular at CVHS (no longer at Catawba) and Dr. Rhodes from Catawba Radiology led the clinical aspect, and Chad Cook, Director of Clinical Technology led the technical aspects of the project.

We also had extensive input from IT/IS regarding compatibility to our infrastructure. The collaboration between all departments was unbelievably remarkable; we respected each other’s position and left “titles at the door” when discussing the various parts of the project.

We were very deliberate in our conversations while being transparent and candid. Through this concerted effort, the team knew what was important to each other. This compromise guided the team to select the best equipment to offer enhanced treatment to our patients. 

JHC:  What projects are you looking forward to in the next six to 12 months?

Broos: One significant project CVHS is about accomplish is an upgrade to our ERP systems from Meditech 6.0 to Meditech Expanse. Although SCM is not encountering significant changes with the upgrade, SCM processes impact the areas that are. My team has been elite throughout the build that the upgrade has required. Although 2020 delayed the go-live, my team stayed laser focused to ensure that the modules that were changing would not be delayed.

The other project is the launch of an E.R. and Heart & Vascular expansion. CVHS continues to see record visits through the E.R. and an increase in heart & vascular therapy treatments.

The expansion will roughly double the size of the E.D. and allow for a more efficient flow of patients. And with the Heart & Vascular expansion, it will put the department adjacent to the E.D. to provide nearly instant access to the equipment for patients with heart and vascular ailments. What excites me about these projects is that it illustrates our mission and why we are a 5-time Magnet® facility. Our absolute focus on the patient drives the decisions our leadership makes.

JHC: What is the biggest challenge/change facing health care supply chain professionals in the next 5 years?

Broos: The biggest challenge I foresee is the health care supply chain profession eroding. Talent constraints will plague our industry if we cannot find passionate human capital to feed the pipeline for our next generation of supply chain leaders.

Upcoming leaders must be patient and put in time and even learning ‘hard lessons’. This will help build versatile supply chain leaders … and if our front-line staff aren’t given opportunities to lead – or, at a minimum, expose them to leadership and growth opportunities, we will not fill the pipeline of our successors.

Although in the next five we aren’t likely to see a mass exodus of supply chain leaders retiring or moving on, it’s the talent pipeline we’re not filling (in that 5 years) that will have the greater impact. 

JHC: What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?

Broos: Engagement and flexibility. Emotional intelligence (EI) and relatability. As a leader – it’s critical we be engaged, no matter the circumstance.

We don’t need to be entrenched in the situation but we need to have a baseline understanding of circumstance. This allows us to be flexible; we’re able to pivot and redirect efforts and respond. Flexibility also stems creativity and empowerment.

Our profession is made up of many categories and sub categories, i.e. Receiving, Distribution, Contract Management, Purchasing/Sourcing, etc. Each person filling these roles talks their own language, has their own acronyms and processes.

Each has to execute a specific plan with the ultimate goal of ensuring the clinical team has what they need to take care of the patient. If we have EI, we’re able to significantly increase our abilities; our performances; enhance decision making, and so much more.

All of this has to happen with a level of relatability to your team members and the organization.

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