Healthcare Industry News:  Premier healthcare alliance 

Devices Group Purchasing

 News Release - September 27, 2007

Central Texas Health System Strengthens Processes for Contracting Through Premier's Breakthrough Series

St. Joseph's Participation in Healthcare Alliance Collaborative Helps Regional Medical Center Implement $800,000-Plus Savings in 9 Months

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, Texas implemented more than $800,000 in contract related savings by participating in the Premier healthcare alliance's Sixth Annual Collaborative Breakthroughs Series (CBTS), positively impacting its ability to provide needed services to Lone Star state residents it serves.

Initiatives implemented by the team included processes to more effectively use reporting tools such as Premier's SpendAdvisor spend management decision-support tool, Meditech's interface between materials management and accounts payable, and the GHX ordering and price match capabilities.

Other improvements included enhancing communication with internal and external customers and centralizing contracts into a single database that helped identify supplier rebates not captured previously and implement contract conversions not considered in the past.

The 32 teams representing 15 hospitals and healthcare systems participating in the Premier series implemented changes resulting in cumulative, validated savings of more than $19 million - $6.3 million more than the series' goal of $12.7 million. Since Premier launched the CBTS six years ago, more than 230 teams have taken part, capturing cumulative savings of more than $170 million.

The CBTS is based on a methodology for collaborative improvement created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) that allows participants to identify and implement improvements in supply chain management which result in significant supply cost reductions. Teams set goals and report progress monthly. Experiences are shared through monthly data exchanges, e-mails, conference calls and face-to-face meetings.

When the St. Joseph team began in September, its original goal was to identify cost savings of at least $250,000 with a stretch goal of $500,000. The team shattered the stretch goal by the end of the first month and by the end of the series' nine months captured more than $839,000 in contract related savings.

St. Joseph materials management team members are veterans of the Premier series. Although Shelly Shultz, SJHC Director of Materials Management and team leader, was new, she tapped into her team's enthusiasm to look for new and creative ways to accelerate savings opportunities. "The team was very successful in last year's cardiovascular track," said Shultz, "so we were excited and focused about tackling the savings opportunities this year."

Shultz said attending CBTS learning sessions was an important catalyst for success. "These are not like other meetings I've attended where you sit and listen," she said. "These are real working sessions where you can truly relate to the issues. They resonate with you. It creates a learning environment where you roll up your sleeves, get things done and really bring solutions to life.

"The networking relationships are invaluable too," she said. "Going forward, we have relationships with peers across the country. That's a tremendous asset for the future. I can pick up the phone at any time and get solid advice about a challenge I may be facing."

About Premier Inc., 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Serving 1,700 hospitals and more than 47,000 other healthcare sites, Premier is the largest healthcare alliance in the United States dedicated to improving patient outcomes while safely reducing the cost of care. Owned by not-for-profit hospitals, Premier operates one of the nation's largest healthcare purchasing networks, the most comprehensive repository of hospital clinical and financial information and one of the largest policy-holder owned, hospital professional liability risk-retention groups in healthcare. Headquartered in San Diego, Premier has offices in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Washington. For more information, visit www.premierinc.com.

About St. Joseph Regional Health Center

St. Joseph Regional Health Center (SJRHC) is anchor facility for St. Joseph Health System, a health ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio. Established in 1936, SJRHC is a 214-bed health care center offering the community's Lead Level III Trauma Center, an extensive inpatient and outpatient surgery program, and is known throughout the region for its cardiac, cancer and rehabilitation programs. SJRHC includes St. Joseph Regional Rehabilitation Center, a freestanding facility with includes a 31-bed rehabilitation unit and a 30-bed Skilled Unit, and Grimes SJHC, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in Navasota. In June 2007 SJHS was awarded the 2007 Texas Award for Performance Excellence (administered by the Quality Texas Foundation), one of three state-wide award recipients and the first health system to receive the award since its inception in 1993. For more information, visit www.st-joseph.org.


Source: Premier Purchasing

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