Tag Archives: best practice

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight-Leveraging RFID Technology and Value Analysis to Manage Expiring Inventory-University of Chicago Medicine


Expiring medical devices represent significant financial costs to healthcare institutions, but also represent a risk to patient safety. An issue that is many times dismissed as a ‘cost of doing business,’ expiring inventory is a problem that required University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) Supply Chain to effectively engage clinicians and suppliers in order to create a systemic solution.


UCM implemented a process designed to prevent expiration of inventory with a collaborative effort from inventory management and sourcing teams, as well as suppliers. This data feeds into a dashboard, which is utilized by leadership to track which suppliers, stockrooms and value analysis teams have the highest value of expiring inventory in the next 90 days, as well as total risk of expiration over the next 10, 30, 60 and 90 days. The dashboard also shows the dollar value and number of items expired in the last week in addition to what was avoided through supplier swaps.


Since implementation of the new process in August 2016, UCM’s expired product rate has decreased by 40%. UCM shares the data with physicians to determine if the inventory may be used in upcoming procedures, thus avoiding expiration. Additionally, they are able to initiate discussions with the physicians to determine whether items expiring should be reordered at all. Expiring product is now incorporated into UCM’s Supplier Scorecard in order to push suppliers to swap expiring product or put items on consignment.


The University of Chicago Medicine has been at the forefront of medical care since 1927. It is an academic medical center and not-for-profit corporation based in Hyde Park. Its physician-scientists cover the full array of medical and surgical specialties and are University of Chicago faculty members.

Check out the University of Chicago Medicine page in the 2017 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight: Miravida Living – Moving Procure-to-Pay Into the 21st Century


With tightening budgets, Miravida Living was challenged with combining the purchasing efforts of its multiple locations. How could Miravida Living effectively decrease redundant inventories, optimize volume purchasing to obtain better pricing and reduce time-consuming manual input in their procure-to-pay system?


By partnering with Inventory Optimization Solutions (IOS), an Intalere contracted supplier, Miravida Living implemented ENVI, a materials management system, in May of 2016. Through the use of ENVI, Miravida Living has moved to an electronic method of inventory management that is visible to the entire campus. The facility is able to channel all purchasing activities through ENVI to focus purchases to approved suppliers. Once implemented, ENVI was able to offer a view into the complete supply chain.


Since the launch of the program, Miravida Living has seen an initial reduction of 1,300 hours relating to the purchasing process. This will equate to an annual savings of $30,000 in labor spend. The facility has realized a 51% increase in contract utilization resulting in an increase in rebates and a potential of approximately 10-12% reduction in price paid for goods. By standardizing the products purchased and consolidating volumes, Miravida Living will continue to see results through better pricing.


Miravida Living provides a full continuum of housing and healthcare services for the elderly and others in need. Included in their offerings are Bethel Home, a 128-bed skilled nursing facility, Eden Meadows with 30 rehabilitation suites and 20 skilled care beds, Gabriel’s Villa with 40 assisted living apartments, Elijah’s Place with 12 beds dedicated to dementia care, Carmel Residence featuring 74 apartments dedicated to independent living and three HUD subsidized complexes offering 220 apartments to seniors 62+ years of age.

Check out the project video and view the Miravida Living page in the 2017 Intalere Best Practices Compendium. Read the full success story.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Livingston HealthCare’s Café Fresh – Model For Farm to Institution


With healthcare costs on the rise, providers need to find ways to increase education and prevention. Providing healthy food and modeling healthy choices can help reduce the incidence of obesity and chronic disease.


The Food and Nutrition Services department of Livingston HealthCare implemented the Farm to Institution Program in 2007, and when their new state-of-the-art facility was built in 2015 they branded the cafeteria as Café Fresh and opened it to the public. The goal was to promote health and wellness among patients and staff, and model healthy choices for the community. The design of Café Fresh is unique in the hospital setting. The idea is that people eat with their eyes, therefore, the majority of the food choices are on display. Entrees, sides, soups, salad bar and parfait bar are all self-serve and sold by weight. There is also a grab-and-go cooler that displays homemade confections, pies, cakes, bars and cheesecake. Café Fresh also offers some convenience foods chosen with healthy ingredients in mind. Café Fresh is trying to lead by example, offering tasty choices without compromising nutrition or quality.


The opening of Café Fresh has resulted in increased revenue, more money spent within the community and the state, job creation, modeling positive eating habits, and expanded customer pallets for herbs, spices and a variety of ethnic foods.

Livingston HealthCare was the first hospital in Montana to sign on to the Western Sustainability Exchange’s Farm to Restaurant campaign. The success of this program has inspired the Livingston schools and other hospitals from across the state to begin down the same path.


Livingston HealthCare is a 25-bed critical access hospital with a rural health clinic attached.

Check out the project video and view the Livingston Healthcare page in the 2017 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Kingston HealthCare Company – Improved Employee Safety and Reduced Workers’ Compensation Expenses


Kingston HealthCare Company’s OSHA rate of employee injury in 2014 and 2015 was 7.7 and 7.6, respectively. This was higher than the 6.8 national incidence rate for the industry published by the Department of Labor.


After an analysis of the workplace injuries recorded, it was discovered that all injured employees were sent to off-site occupational health providers. Providing first aid onsite when appropriate would decrease claim costs. In addition, 38% of the overall workplace injuries were back strains; 64% of which were incurred by nursing assistants during patient transfers. Staff members were not routinely using the mechanical lifting equipment which was available. Using the Intalere supplier contracts, Kingston HealthCare Company acquired and installed standardized equipment throughout the facility. New hires are trained on the equipment and an annual competency review is required.


In 2016, Kingston HealthCare Company reduced its OSHA recordable incidence rate from 7.6 to 4.2; a 3.4 point reduction from the previous year. As Kingston HealthCare Company is primarily self-insured, achieving the goal of reducing the number of OSHA recordable incidents to 4.5 or below has had a tremendous financial impact. Workers’ compensation costs were reduced by 24.7%; an $83,000 reduction from 2015.


Kingston HealthCare Company is a privately held organization headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The organization is comprised of six skilled nursing facilities and eight assisted living communities. Kingston’s skilled facilities specialize in post-acute care, stroke recovery, respiratory wellness and rehabilitation. The assisted living communities provide supportive environments for those who need assistance managing chronic illnesses in a comfortable apartment setting.

Check out the project video and view the Kingston Healthcare Company page in the 2017 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Peterson Regional Medical Center – Bridging the Gap During National IV Solution Shortage


Peterson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) needed access to IV solutions six months prior to the acquisition of new IV equipment, however, due to a national shortage of IV solutions, PRMC was pressured to commit to a five-year agreement and/or transition all pharmacy business to their current vendor in order to obtain what was needed.


PRMC contacted Intalere for support and to facilitate supplier communication to determine their alternatives. Although the consensus was that IV suppliers were not taking on new customers due to the shortage, Intalere was able to negotiate a meeting between PRMC and a new IV vendor. Based on the facility volume, commitment level and the potential for a capital pump purchase, the new vendor met with PRMC in a timely manner to review the program and offer their services, contingent on the capital pump purchase.


The PRMC board of directors approved an additional capital expense allowing the facility to move IV business to the new vendor and remain a primary member of Intalere. Because of Intalere’s relationship with the new vendor, PRMC was able to purchase IV capital equipment in late 2015, but was granted access to intravenous fluids in January 2015. PRMC was able to continue to provide exceptional patient care and did not have to transfer their entire pharmacy program to bridge the gap.


Peterson Regional Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit community-based healthcare facility located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in Kerrville.

Check out the project video and view Peterson’s page in the 2016 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight-Special Tree Rehabilitation Center-Creating a ‘Win-Win’ For Patients and Providers through Supply Chain Management


In December 2014, the leadership team at Special Tree noted a 12% increase in year-over-year (YOY), 2013 vs. 2014, non-labor spend in spite of working with a group purchasing partner. During the same timeframe, the YOY revenue growth was less than 4%. Special Tree risked a negative impact on staffing levels and an unwanted, cascading impact on staff satisfaction and patient care delivery.


Special Tree made a strategic decision to strengthen their relationship with Intalere by signing a sole-source provider agreement. The facility also implemented a comprehensive inventory control, purchasing management and ancillary tracking software solution. This solution was integrated with the facility’s EHR system. Special Tree centralized sourcing and procurement, and instituted enterprise-wide vendor contracting policies and procedures. By taking advantage of Intalere’s spend analysis solutions, Special Tree made adjustments to their supplier/distributor/vendor relationships.


The new processes resulted in the following reductions in non-labor spend: 34.8% in medical-surgical supplies, 45% in office and printer supplies, 10.4% in nutrition/foodservice, 31% in janitorial supplies and 10% in house accounting. Staff satisfaction improved in 2015 as compared to 2014. Detroit Free Press (A Gannett Company) named Special Tree among the Top 100 large employers in Michigan in 2015 for the 6th year in a row!


Special Tree Rehabilitation System (STRS) is a for-profit, post-acute care continuum for people who have experienced brain injury or spinal cord injury. Founded in 1974, STRS is a family-owned business that has grown to include 27 facilities serving the State of Michigan. STRS offers sub-acute rehabilitation, residential and apartment programs, outpatient therapy, community rehabilitation and home health services.

Check out the project video and view Special Tree’s page in the 2016 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Fairfield Medical Center – Project Bright


Fairfield Medical Center’s (FMC) facilities were out of date and did not provide the resources needed for the latest technology in surgical services, limiting Fairfield’s ability to provide the best quality services for their patients and community. There were also limitations in FMC’s healing environment that dictated the need to improve on patient recovery and healing.


FMC worked with nursing, surgery, ancillary services and the community to create a state-of-the-art surgical center that provides all surgical services under one roof, allowing for the recruitment of new physicians and the ability to further expand services to better provide for the community. This would also provide better healing environments with a larger, well planned out space that separates the support team and the patient care area to allow for a more restful, healing stay.


Since the opening of the new facility, FMC’s Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores increased. The overall rating of care increased from the 52nd percentile to the 84th percentile, and facilities scoring jumped from the 29th percentile to the 95th percentile. The new facility includes a hybrid surgical suite, providing physicians the ability to utilize state-of-the-art imaging equipment during surgery, aiding in diagnosis and treatment strategies, which can improve the patient experience by minimizing the number of procedures that could be needed.


Fairfield Medical Center is a full service 222-bed, nonprofit hospital located in Lancaster, Ohio. The hospital serves more than 250,000 residents in Fairfield, Perry, Hocking and Athens counties and employs more than 2,000 individuals.

Check out the project video and view Fairfield’s page in the 2016 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.


Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight-Northern Arizona Healthcare/Flagstaff Medical Center-Reduction of Hospital Readmissions for Patients with Previously Identified Malnutrition


Malnutrition is a serious issue, with 1 in 3 U.S. hospital patients being affected. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have projected reduced reimbursement for malnutrition readmissions within 30 days of discharge. At Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC), 42% of patients identified at risk for malnutrition were being readmitted within 30 days of discharge.


An evidence-based intervention study was implemented to identify strategies to minimize the number of patients readmitted due to malnutrition. Malnutrition education was implemented, including development of a “Malnutrition Guide” which was reviewed with all inpatient staff and providers. A “Malnutrition Protocol” was established for early identification, diagnosis, treatment and discharge planning to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions.


The Malnutrition Protocol for discharge management and the prevention of readmissions resulted in a reduction of length of stay for this population and a reduction of readmission days. In a 12-month study, cost savings of $76,417 for a 101.89 reduction in hospital days and prevention of 23 patient readmissions was realized. The malnutrition readmission rate was reduced from 42% to 9.89%.


Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC), a member of Northern Arizona Healthcare, is a full-service, 267-bed, Level 1 Trauma Center facility. FMC has approximately 2,000 employees and more than 200 physicians on its active medical staff. FMC’s mission is to improve the health of the people and communities it serves.

Check out the project video and view FMC’s page in the 2016 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.




Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight-Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance-Regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) Improves Quality and Transition of Care throughout North Carolina


Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange (CCHIE) is a stakeholder initiative within Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance and includes unaffiliated healthcare entities and providers integrating EMR systems to provide for the exchange of and access to clinical documents in support of improved care transition.


Regional strategies have established an environment where data exchange and utilization are expected so that everyone benefits from simple, timely, equitable and efficient sharing of health information. Expansion of strategies to disparate healthcare entities in the region has allowed for revamping of clinical workflows to aid in the care of chronically ill populations and assists communities in promoting wellness and continuity of care.


Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange targets high-cost care settings to leverage health IT to improve standards for continuity of care. Advancing multi-source data integrations has helped create a true longitudinal view of the patient in the community. Coastal Connect’s regional approach has included goals that aim to advance exchange and use of electronic health information among individuals, hospitals, community practices, home and community-based supports, and public health entities to improve the overall health of our communities.


Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA) consists of member hospitals within our region collaborating with community care providers to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes for citizens in our footprint.

Check out the project video and view CCHA’s page in the 2016 Intalere Best Practices Compendium.

Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Highlands Hospital – Acuity Adaptable Bed Universal Care Model

Highlands Intalere picture 2015Highlands Hospital trimmed FTE’s and saved more than $500,000 through their Acuity Adaptable Model.


Highlands Hospital was experiencing wide swings in the census on the dedicated ICU unit. Staffing was constantly being called in or called off which often resulted in overtime and unhappy staff. Consistently, the nurse-to-patient ratio in the ICU was too high, making the cost of delivering care in that unit prohibitive. Additionally, patients were displeased with having to be moved to another floor when their acuity status requirements changed.


In order to streamline costs, improve efficiencies and increase the quality of care provided, Highlands Hospital implemented the Acuity Adaptable Bed (AAB) model. Through this model, patients remain in one room during their hospitalization. Patients then could receive the higher level of care with critical care trained RNs as needed, but stay in the same room when their care needs were reduced.


Total nursing FTEs were reduced by approximately 7.5 or nearly 20 percent. This resulted in cost savings of approximately $500,000 annually with no impact on net patient revenue because the overall census did not change. Additionally, overtime was reduced significantly since the former ICU had the highest levels of overtime. Other ancillary costs were reduced as a result of significant gains in improving care delivery efficiencies.

About Highlands Hospital

Highlands Hospital, a 64-bed independent, non-profit facility, has served the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania for over 100 years. With 400 exceptional staff members, Highlands Hospital provides emergent, inpatient and ambulatory services and is committed to finding innovative ways to offer optimum healthcare in a competent, nurturing and healing environment.

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