Supporting the Supply Chain through Collaboration

The key to a healthy and agile supply chain is collaboration. Without the ability to work with other departments and organizations, your ability to meet the needs of your customers and their patients will suffer.

The Journal of Healthcare Contracting recently spoke to Karen Ryan, a Category Project Manager with Centura Health to discuss how non-acute facilities are expanding and how the supply chain can collaborate between non-acute care, supply chain distribution, and all critical access within that continuum.

Meeting the needs of a diverse network

Centura Health has over 330 clinics across Colorado and Kansas, supported by a small, yet highly efficient, supply chain team. An organization that depends on collaboration to meet the needs of the various clinics, Centura services patients in some of the ‘harder to reach’ areas in the country and does it well. 

“The way our partnership is set up with our distributor McKesson Medical-Surgical is key to our ability to support our clinics at Centura,” Ryan said. “We have a wide range of needs, and we have a lot of clinics. We also have some challenging areas, the mountain areas. They operate uniquely in our system. They are open all year round. We have a lot of winter delays, delivery issues, winter storms – which creates some challenges.”

Ryan’s team supports Centura’s patients through direct delivery of supplies. McKesson has an on-site team at Centura, which allows the Health System to quickly and efficiently address any issues in real-time.

A supply chain in constant transition

Centura uses a consolidated model that not only reduces the total overhead costs for clinic space, but also reduces the vendor costs. Ryan said, “Our lead driver in clinic transitions is really our patient needs. In Colorado alone, our population has increased 14.5% over the last decade, one of the highest increases in the U.S. currently. Now that we have more patients, we need more providers and clinics to handle the influx of people.”

Because of this surge in Colorado growth, Centura has had to grow as well to keep up with the increase in patient visits. In the middle of a pandemic, Centura added a staggering 35 new clinics to meet those needs.

The value of collaboration

With so many moving parts in play, all at one time, it’s critical for an organization like Centura to collaborate with their internal teams on a day-to-day basis.

“For example, if I don’t have a vendor contract set up correctly, it affects price, billing errors, accounts payable, and it will create issues with our distributor. It affects so many people, internal and external. Until you drill down to it and see what your job role does and how it affects other teams, you’re really missing something.”

Without collaboration, Ryan and her team wouldn’t be able to get supplies and pharmaceuticals to the wide range clinics through Colorado and Kansas. “We’re always looking for ways to streamline processes, save time and money. Working with McKesson, their warehouse really helps us streamline those things. It gives us access to all our orders, so we can see back orders in real-time. We can also pull reports ourselves, improve processes, and the biggest is make changes to our formulary and make changes on the fly. We need that to be nimble.”

Sponsored: McKesson

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