Meet Michigan Medicine: Supply Chain Services

June 26, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Everywhere. That’s where you’ll find evidence of Supply Chain Services. That’s because the work of this department is essential to almost every aspect of patient care at Michigan Medicine.

To put it simply, said Kristine Komives, director of operations for Supply Chain, “we make sure what you need to provide high quality care is where you need it to be, when you need it to be there.”

Supply Chain Services ensures that medical and surgical supplies, services and equipment are at the ready in all areas where patient care is delivered. They support the entire clinical enterprise. From product evaluation, contract development, purchasing, electronic transacting and inventory management to transporting and organizing items for use, Supply Chain does it all.

Here’s what you may not know about Supply Chain Services, a team of nearly 180 staff members dedicated to helping Michigan Medicine provide excellent patient care.

One-stop shopping

Supply Chain Services has implemented a number of changes in the last two years to consolidate operations and create one place people can go to meet their needs more efficiently. Some of the legacy Materiel Services functions, for instance, have been absorbed by the department, and all functions for securing and distributing medical supplies now fall under Supply Chain Services

“We are your partners from start to finish,” said Janet Abbruzzese, director of Supply Chain Strategy and Procurement. “We help facilitate decisions in partnership with clinicians on which products are safe and clinically effective. We manage supplier relations, ensure that products get where they’re supposed to be and maintain the systems and processes that hold that all together.”

“Our core strategy,” she said, “is to focus on safe and reliable care while improving price, utilization and standardization opportunities to sustain the clinical enterprise.”

A new Supply Chain Services website provides a wealth of information about the department. Details about all of the service areas and the support they provide can be found on the site, along with a number of valuable resources for customers.

Service areas defined

The department is comprised of six different service areas. They are:

  • Value Analysis: This is the front door to Supply Chain. It’s where products are evaluated for use in the clinical setting and recommendations are made about what is and is not appropriate for each intended application.
  • Contracts and Procurement: Once analysis has taken place, this team works to connect the supplier of the product with front line leaders across areas. In addition to contracting for supplies, the Contracts and Procurement team can provide assistance with the competitive bidding process, risk management and strategic sourcing where needed.
  • Transactional Purchasing: This group buys medical/surgical supplies for all customers, including inpatient units and ambulatory care clinics. They also maintain the supply of goods in the warehouse and purchase supplies as needed to ensure that inventory is always available.
  • Par Management: This is the service group that forecasts future needs and oversees inventory planning for medical/surgical devices. They are also responsible for setting up equipment and supplies where they will be used within the patient environment.
  • Supply Chain Solutions: Technology and process experts on this team make sure the best processes are in place. They support the software and technology used on a daily basis to keep everything moving smoothly.
  • Warehouse Operations: This team manages the chain of custody for products and is responsible for getting supplies from the warehouse dock to end locations for consumption.

Valuable partners in providing high quality care

Representatives from the operations and solutions teams and a continuous improvement specialist from the Quality Department meet on a weekly basis to communicate needs and troubleshoot issues. Their goal is to enable the execution of strategic initiatives and find ways to improve the flow of products throughout the health system.

“Members of this team bring insight from their respective areas to make sure all participants are operating effectively together,” said Komives. “This makes it possible for everyone else on the Supply Chain team to be successful in the important work they are doing. The end result is customers receiving quality products in a timely and reliable way.”

In the end, the goal of the department is to standardize programs, functions and processes to meet needs across the organization. A great deal of work has been done over the last two years to enhance operations, and Supply Chain is dedicated to continuing that improvement.

“We will always strive to get better at what we do and how we do it,” said Abbruzzese. “We are here to serve as a partner to all areas in providing high quality and highly reliable care; that means working to continually improve our service to each department and ultimately, to all patients cared for at Michigan Medicine.”

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