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May 2015

BJC HealthCare Recognized for Innovation in Supply Chain Management

BJC HealthCare has been named the 2015 national health care provider Supply Chainnovator award winner by Gartner, Inc., a leading global research and advisory company. The award recognizes the BJC SupplyPlus End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility (E2ESCV) pilot, partnering with Cook Medical and Cardinal Health. 

The pilot, implemented in three BJC hospitals for a one-year period, aimed to achieve the BJC internal SupplyPlus promise of “superior outcomes plus better value” by breaking down traditional barriers in the cardiac stent supply chain among the hospitals, supplier, distributor and manufacturer. The pilot was able to:

  • Achieve an average 23 percent reduction in total par units (range: 8 percent – 33 percent depending on the pilot site)
  • Capture savings in expired product avoidance
  • Produce additional savings for both BJC and our vendors by reducing total consigned inventory levels
  • Decrease nursing and clinician time spent on inventory management, increasing patient care time
  • Positively impact operational efficiency and process

E2ESCV is currently being implemented throughout BJC’s 12-hospital system. Pilot hospitals/labs were: Progress West Hospital; Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, cardiac catheterization lab; and Missouri Baptist Medical Center, GI lab.

Steve Kiewiet, BJC vice president of supply chain, says a key to the program’s success was  “executive support from BJC, the provider, manufacturer and distributor, which allowed the flexibility to drive end-to-end efficiency and remove process waste, utilizing a perpetual inventory environment with radio frequency identifier, or RFID, capability.”

Marcia Howes, BJC vice president and chief supply chain executive, noted, “The collaboration, transparency and data sharing among the partners were key to success, ensuring all types of product delivered were tested and proven successful.” The products are delivered through BJC’s new central warehouse, Gateway, as well as through distributor Cardinal Health or directly by vendor Cook Medical.

Through the Supply Chainnovator awards program, Gartner recognizes supply chain innovation and impact delivered by supply chain organizations in the categories of corporate/industry, health care manufacturer and health care provider. These innovations must meet the threshold of impactful, sustainable, unconventional, collaborative and measurable, and participants are required to share with the broader supply chain community lessons learned and how results were achieved. The goal is to recognize innovative approaches to supply chain excellence that result in improvements in business performance.

According to Gartner, BJC’s entry stood out from other national applicants in a number of ways:

  • Supply savings through a 17 percent SKU reduction, 23 percent average par reduction and $30,000 in expired product avoidance, with an expected total inventory management savings opportunity of $68 million over 10 years as validated by the pilot.
  • Patient safety increase due to the product visibility to system inventory, greatly enhancing recall management and enabling forecast/demand planning to prevent stock-outs, eliminate overnight freight expense, and manage allocation processes during manufacture backorder and disaster/pandemic situations.
  • Operational and patient care efficiency due to standard work performed by professional, industry-certified supply chain staff, allowing nurses and other clinicians to reduce time spent on inventory management; and consolidation of supply chain activity from hundreds of partial clinical and non-clinical FTEs to a dedicated inventory team deployed across the system, utilizing standard work.
  • Centralized inventory management and process governance obtained due to consolidating inventory into a centralized distribution center location, removing excess inventory from the hospitals.

2015 is only the second year for Gartner to award health care organizations with the prestigious Supply Chainnovator Award. BJC’s win was announced at the annual Supply Chain Executives Conference on May 11 in Phoenix.

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