Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In
Community Search
GPOs – Valued Partners in Healthcare
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (29) posts »

Intalere Member Summit Pacific Medical Center Gets Strategic About Supply Chain, Bringing Big Savings and Process Improvements

Posted By HSCA, Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Summit Pacific Medical Center (SPMC) in northwest Washington, like many
other critical access hospitals, is continually faced with challenges including
keeping supply costs down, competitively negotiating with local vendors when
access and availability are limited, and creatively collaborating with strategic
partners to help achieve a better bottom line. Growing and moving from a
small 10,000 sq. ft. facility, to a newly constructed 45,000 sq. ft. building, SPMC
realized they needed an entirely new approach to supply chain and the process
in which they engaged with vendors. “We were still functioning with outdated
purchasing methods with department managers essentially making decisions
in silos for product changes, capital equipment and services contracts,” said
Carrie Wetzel, purchasing manager, SPMC. “This approach left little room for
further negotiations or to ensure Intalere’s group purchasing organization
(GPO) contracts were utilized. We needed to make sure we maximized that
partnership, in addition to engaging staff and working with our rural hospital


The SPMC team realized they needed to change the purchasing culture
throughout the organization. Tactically, this meant things like centralized
purchasing, implementing just-in-time (JIT) inventory management and
empowering managers to work directly with Intalere field experts, as well as
networking with their rural hospital colleagues. To ensure this was not only
achievable, but also supported at the leadership level, they included the work
required to improve purchasing workflows and methodology into their annual
strategic plan. This helped to ensure buy-in and support from the board and
leadership level all the way through to front-line staff. In all, there were
22 tactical measures surrounding purchasing processes and collaboration
added to the plan.

The objectives were strategically vetted by SPMC’s management team and

• Implementation of an inventory/stocking plan.
• Training for all management staff on Intalere services and solutions.
• Utilization of your Intalere contract management resources.
• Implementation of an electronic ordering system.
• Completion of quarterly formulary reviews with department managers.
• Creation of a purchasing manager group for the Washington Rural
Health Collaborative (WRHC), a network of 13 critical access hospitals,
predominantly serving the rural areas of Washington State.


“Utilization of strategic planning software gave us the tools to add specific
measurable tactics, along with timelines, to ensure we could achieve each
objective chosen,” said Wetzel. “Another vital resource was the support team from
Intalere that took an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to the goals we set to achieve
during the year. From IT support, to on-site education and meetings, their support
was a vital and necessary component for us to succeed.”


SPMC’s internal processes changed to include centralized purchasing workflows,
Intalere contract utilization and review as a required step, and quarterly Intalere
on-site meetings with department managers.

“A savings worksheet was created to help us track the savings our management
team was able to achieve by using the tools and workflows resulting from this
change,” said Wetzel. The worksheet highlighted significant annual savings of:

• 49 percent in facility service contracts.
• 38 percent in lab reagent agreements.
• 12 percent in lab equipment purchases.
• 10-15 percent on IT purchases (through utilization of an Intalere contracted
vendor for IT smallwares and licensing).

In addition, implementing the JIT stocking plan at three offsite clinics allowed
for the reallocation of several thousand dollars in supplies to other areas of the
hospital. “Our process improvements have had amazing effects throughout the
organization, providing much needed efficiencies, and staff availability of supplies
for patient care in a systematic and trusted way,” said Wetzel. “Due to our strategic
plan incorporation. We have a great platform to share these successes with the
community we serve in our ongoing efforts to provide cost effective, quality

The purchasing managers group of the Washington Rural Health Collaborative
(WRHC) also presented an excellent opportunity to work together to create
solutions surrounding GPO involvement, as well as a platform for presenting
joint contracting opportunities to the WRHC board. Recognizing several Intalere
partners and a fairly high percentage of vendor matches among the collaborative
members, the purchasing managers group reached out to Intalere to explore the
option of creating an Intalere purchasing umbrella within the collaborative for
the members to aggregate volume. Intalere memberships for the WRHC and the
seven participating facilities were established. The WRHC group’s first joint savings
roadmap was subsequently completed, highlighting 52 percent annualized savings

Intalere’s flexibility and willingness to work on developing tailored solutions was
also instrumental to this part of the process as well. “Without their assistance and
access to industry experts we would have not been able to achieve our goals in the
timeframes set by our team,” said Wetzel. “Their representation was phenomenal. It
allowed our financial leaders to ask crucial questions regarding facility savings and
how to navigate the data presented.”

Tags:  Intalere  Savings  Washington 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)
Sign In

Latest News