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

Congratulations to Think Whole Person Healthcare, the winner of the IOS Q3 2018 Best Practice Award. Think has demonstrated exceptional capabilities in the Advanced Utilization of Envi®, improving overall results by automating manual processes, driving greater accuracy and efficiency, and increasing visibility and savings throughout the organization.

The Think Whole Person Healthcare Story

Cindy Plooster – Specialty Inventory Manager
Jason Gregory – Director of Clinicians/Operations
Kate Holden – Cost Accounting Manager
 
Think is an Accountable Care Organization specifically geared toward serving patients with chronic conditions who need ongoing care coordination to keep them on goal and out of the hospital. Think physicians and clinicians see over 2,500 patients on a weekly basis. Think focuses on customer service and its mission of providing better outcomes for patients, giving them an enhanced health experience and lowering the cost of their care through looking at the whole person.
 

The Goals

“We opened our doors in July 2015, and as a start-up business, we began with a lot of manual processes,” said Jason Gregory, Director of Clinicians/Operations. “We set specific goals to target supply chain improvements. We needed a way to track inventory. We wanted better approval processes. We knew we needed better methods for receiving supplies into the organization, tracking where supplies went once received, and closing the loop on orders, so we could improve end-to-end processes. We worked with our Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) to find a supply chain solution that would be affordable, efficient and help automate everything, from ordering through invoice payment.”
 
Some of the solutions considered didn’t provide broad enough functionality, others were too costly. “We selected Envi because the system is easy to navigate, gave us everything we wanted at a cost-effective price, and worked in ways that everyone could understand,” said Cindy Plooster, Specialty Inventory Manager. “We’ve now been using Envi nearly two years,
and we’ve rolled it out across our entire organization. Envi covers our overall supply chain processes.”
 

Results

“We use a central warehouse location, and our internal users submit requisitions through Envi that we can fill from the warehouse,” said Plooster. “Requisitioners are pointed directly to templates for their department, with the products they continually order. We set ‘min/maxes’ in the system and can easily replenish locations each day. It works perfectly – we don’t run out of products. Our team does all the ordering, so we can ensure purchases are on contract and orders are approved before being submitted. Then we do a physical count at the end of the month.”

“We’re using Envi to support procurement of both medical supplies and pharma products,” said Kate Holden, Cost Accounting Manager. “All of our purchasing is in Envi, including PO approval. We’re now using the contract module and we’re getting more traction on contracts. We used the interface to connect with our QuickBooks system, so we get details about purchasing. We’re committed to putting everything through EDI. Our organization operates at a high volume, with a lot of patients – we had to have a system that keeps up. With Envi, we cover supply chain operations, plus get timely reporting and real-time information.

“The Envi system improves our processes throughout – everything from tracking inventory, to managing expenses and costs,” said Gregory. “We have better control and accountability.”

Summary of Best Practices

 

Improvements in Accounting Processes:

  • Verify items are being billed correctly
  • Reconcile with Electronic Health Records and synchronize with patient billing
  • Receive invoices electronically, helping AP to be even more efficient

 

Driving Greater Automation:

  • EDI saves staff time, reduces reliance on cumbersome manual processes
  • Expanded use from inventory tracking and supply management; now covering all services through Envi
  • Seamless process flow, including approvals, reducing follow-up and rework

 

Financial Improvements:

  • Reduced inventory levels and improved cash flow; we order more frequently in lower quantities, less cash is tied up in inventory
  • Lower Cost of Goods and improved margins
  • Proper allocation of expenses to departments
  • Better visibility of overall purchases has helped facilitate departmental budgeting processes