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IOS continually identifies and shares best practices from our customers to help educate the healthcare community on supply chain automation. Each quarter, we recognize an organization demonstrating exceptional best practices in supply chain.

Congratulations to the Surgery Center of Fairbanks, the winner of the IOS Q2 2019 Best Practice Award. The Surgery Center of Fairbanks has demonstrated outstanding capabilities in streamlining inventory processes to optimize and reduce cost, tackling such issues as management of physical counting, labelling and organization of storage areas, and unit of measure.

The Surgery Center of Fairbanks Story

Jamie Conant, BSN, RN, CPAN, CAPA – Administrator
  
The Surgery Center of Fairbanks opened in 2010 and has since treated thousands of Interior Alaska residents with a wide range of health conditions. The center is the only free-standing fully dedicated outpatient surgical facility in the Northern Alaska / Fairbanks area, providing highly advanced surgical technology that permits residents to receive treatment without leaving the community. Owned and operated by Alaskans, the Surgery Center delivers care with an understanding of the issues that face all Alaskans when they need surgery. The team at Surgery Center of Fairbanks is proud to play a role in delivering care with the highest levels of efficiency and quality, and full dedication to their patients.
  
The center had recently converted to a new Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) and wanted to improve their inventory management processes. “We were looking to get a better handle on inventory that we had on hand,” said Jamie Conant, BSN, RN, CPAN, CAPA, Administrator, Surgery Center of Fairbanks. “The system we were using was very old and we made a decision to upgrade to Envi.”

    Goals

    “As a new administrator, I set goals to not only learn the department of Supply processes, but also the Envi system,” said Conant. “As I took on the role, it became clear that physical inventory had not been counted for quite some time and we needed an accurate baseline. We identified key issues and set goals to address:
     
    • Overstocked inventory
    • Inaccurate counts of on-hand adjustment
    • Par levels in need of adjustment
    • Items without locations assigned
    • Inaccurate prices in our system
    • Large scale inaccuracies in unit of measure
    • Locations in system to identify items on the shelves

    Conant continued, “I saturated myself in learning not only what the items were, but also where they were and related processes. I needed to make intelligent decisions and lead this department, in which I’d not had much experience in the past.”

     

    Results

    Implementing the Envi solution helped the team move toward more automated processes and greater accuracy. “We had great customer service from IOS,” said Conant. “Our IOS implementation manager helped ensure an accurate conversion – she was here for our first inventory in the system. We worked together to organize our inventory locations, ensuring everything was in good order and labelled.”

    To ensure ongoing accuracy, Conant leads a daily 5 minute huddle with supply chain to ensure everyone works together to minimize stock on hand, while running a highly efficient center. “I take a very active role in inventory, ordering, vendor and contract management, and with our GPO account representative,” said Conant. “It’s important to always know what’s going on and identify supply-related issues proactively.”

    Working in partnership with colleagues, Conant is confident the Center now has accurate locations for every item in inventory. “Now, it’s easy to find an item, count and inventory it. In fact, our team reduced on hand inventory by almost a quarter of a million dollars in the first quarter of 2019.”

    The team has driven an additional $80,000 in annual savings with GPO conversion. Price lists from primary vendors are now easily be uploaded into Envi to maintain accurate pricing in the system.

    “We count on the great customer support from IOS, and as we look to upgrade our Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, we’re also looking at the Envi interface so we can exchange data across systems.

    “My advice to others would be – don’t be afraid of the system,” Conant concluded. “Get in there, learn it, ask questions, participate in inventory and do it regularly to get a handle on it. Meet your vendors, get to know your GPO. These things all help the Surgery Center of Fairbanks stay streamlined, accurate and driving toward cost reductions. We’re pleased that Envi has been a very active partner in achieving our goals this year.”

    Summary of Best Practices

     

    Hand’s on management and reduction of on-hand inventory

    Price comparisons and negotiations with vendors on a continual basis 

    Collaborative team approach to supply chain management processes

    Ongoing management of updated pricing

    Assignment of inventory locations for each item

    Conduct quarterly inventories to ensure system is “clean” with reliable data

    Maximizing use of GPO contracts for best available price