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How The Bellevue Hospital is Transforming their Supply Chain – and Maximizing Savings

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Key takeaways:

  • As a small, independent, local hospital, The Bellevue Hospital (TBH) recognized the vital need for differentiated access to supplies at the best possible price points.
  • Key elements in TBH’s approach includes one group purchasing organization (GPO), participation in committed buying programs, clinical-supply chain integration and meaningful data to pinpoint cost reduction opportunities.
  • The hospital partnered with Premier supply chain experts to drive savings, efficiency and the continued delivery of outstanding patient care.

Based in northwest Ohio, The Bellevue Hospital is a small, local, independent hospital serving the community since 1917 – committed to saving lives and enriching the livelihood of residents in its four-county service area. The 50-bed hospital has more than 400 employees and 90 physicians.

In July 2022, the hospital sought to further advance operational excellence and find strong solutions to maximize efficiency, quality and cost savings via the supply chain.

The Bellevue Hospital implemented more than $300,000 in total savings in just three months – all while ensuring access to the appropriate, high-quality products at the right time for strong clinical outcomes.

Premier spoke to TBH’s Carrie Condon, Chief Financial Officer, and Alex Hanes, Director of Materials Management, to learn more about how the hospital is leveraging the supply chain to drive optimization and cost mitigation without compromising patient care or quality.

The following is a question-and-answer format conducted in an interview between Premier, Carrie Condon and Alex Hanes.

The Opportunity

Carrie: Financial resiliency is critical to fulfill our mission of providing high-quality patient care in the communities we serve – and we needed a partner that could bring savings opportunities to the forefront. Equally important in my role and for TBH overall is balancing employee and patient satisfaction with our financial goals. For us to be successful with cost analysis and reduction initiatives over the long term, both our C-suite and our clinicians must have a seat at the table.

Alex: Many hospitals like ours can be challenged in finding savings due to smaller purchasing volume and/or scattered, disparate data. Meeting our goals required that we analyze our purchasing and identify areas to standardize, reduce waste and improve care.

Supply chain leaders and teams can spend countless, manual hours looking at Excel spreadsheets. We needed streamlined data and insights on category spend, invoice discrepancies and product alternatives to help manage supply chain costs and identify areas for improvement.

The Solution

Carrie: Our group purchasing organization (GPO) conversion was just the beginning of what has been a fruitful partnership for TBH and Premier. We simultaneously onboarded to both the Premier GPO and SURPASS® program, with the Premier team working in lockstep with us to engage our Bellevue leadership and product end users – and establishing a simplified, data-driven savings tracking process.

Premier tapped its PINC AI™ technology platform to identify savings and create a roadmap for how we'd realize opportunities. Anytime we can create savings and efficiencies at TBH, that brings value.

Alex: The SURPASS program enables us to partner with clinical staff to standardize purchasing among preferred suppliers and unlock deeper volume-based discounts. For a smaller, community-based hospital like ours, this has been crucial.

SURPASS gives us the ability to access best-in-class pricing in exchange for volume and buying loyalty alongside other Premier members. This collective buying power has translated to immediate results for TBH in reducing our supply expenses while also ensuring our clinicians are engaged and have access to the high-quality supplies they need to best treat our patients.

The Results

Carrie: Our GPO conversion and the SURPASS program have enabled our hospital to implement more than $300,000 in total savings in MED/SURG categories alone – and in a shorter window of time. Looking ahead, we’re aiming to uncover savings in the Pharmacy and Dietary spaces as well.

I’m also armed with savings figures, meaningful data and a proven, established process for supply chain cost mitigation when I go to my board for our 2023 budget discussions, which inspires confidence and affords us the opportunity to reinvest in other areas of our hospital, in patient care and back into the northwest Ohio community.

Alex: Premier has helped us achieve financial and operational efficiencies, and my team doesn’t have to spend months manually reviewing hundreds of contracts, outliers and cost savings and analysis numbers. Premier programs, technology, supplier relationships and expertise have streamlined the entire process for our supply chain team.

Hospitals today need strong strategies that drive savings, enable margin improvement efforts and offset higher prices. We also need solutions around product availability and long-term resiliency that help protect us in times of supply chain disruption like we’ve seen over the last two-plus years. SURPASS contracts include language that guarantees product – and to know there’s product in the pipeline for a hospital like TBH is invaluable.

What Advice Would You Give to Other Hospitals?

Alex: I can’t stress enough the value of relationships. In Premier, we have a true partner and ingrained team that is always helping me prioritize what’s best for our organization. They leave no stone unturned for opportunities, constantly share insights based on what’s in the pipeline, and give us the data and tools we need to save time, money and drive change with our clinical caregivers.

The power of the Premier alliance has also been an instrumental source of information and intelligence for us at TBH. The ability to connect with other members that have implemented product conversions and get their clinical expertise and perspective, especially in specialized categories, is vital. SURPASS products and services are backed by clinical research and with members thoroughly vetting and voting on the portfolio, which really speeds up the process for us – and it engenders trust with our TBH clinicians.

Carrie: Our efforts with Premier have resulted in the product access, efficiencies and cost savings that are needed right now.

For More:

  • High compliance, not high maintenance. Learn how SURPASS is one of the fastest ways to drive cost reductions across your health system, eliminate inefficiencies and duplications, and deliver more value to patients.
  • See how PINC AI™ Margin Improvement is supporting supply chain optimization and a healthier bottom line.
  • Check out our recent blog and meet the future of value analysis in healthcare.
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