Allied Physicians Surgery Center is a physician-owned ambulatory surgery center in Indiana that covers a wide range of specialties including general and vascular surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, pain medicine, plastic surgery, podiatry, and urology.
The Allied team wanted to advance order management processes from manual to electronic and reduce supply overhead by improving control over what was being ordered. Additionally, they wanted to improve their results by leveraging contracts to ensure they purchased at best available prices.
THE ALLIED PHYSICIANS SURGERY CENTER STORY
Manual Processes Reduced Efficiencies and Savings
Manual processes supported order and inventory management at this fast-paced ASC. The materials management team spent hours each day, walking around checking inventory and writing down items for replenishment. The team manually entered data to create individual orders for each supplier, which were submitted via fax. They used Provista as their Group Purchasing Organization (GPO), but felt like they weren’t utilizing them to the fullest capacity. They also managed local contracts within the ASC.
“We needed to improve our contract management – and make sure we were getting the best contract price – to improve our bottom line,” said Tracey Opaczewski, CASC, CPHRM, Director of Quality Management and Regulatory Compliance. “Our materials team didn’t have time to keep up with ongoing contract management, checking to see what was expiring, what had fallen off, gaps we needed to close to achieve tier pricing. We were drowning in paper and we spent hours each day keeping up. With a broad range of service lines, there are a lot of supplies needed to meet the needs of our clinical teams and patients.”
Building Automation and Improving Order Management
Allied uses HST Pathways as their practice management system, and wanted a procurement solution that would support automation while integrating with Pathways. “Our Pathways team recommended Envi as an option for an integrated procurement solution, and Provista Procurement for ongoing contract management,” said Opaczewski. “We wanted to improve automation and order management for all service lines, so it was important we could integrate purchasing with practice management.”
“It was about making day to day work easier and more manageable, but in the end, we were targeting reductions in supply overhead. We set goals to better control what was being ordered, optimize our contracts and improve our bottom line. We brought in Envi and Provista Procurement to address these goals and gaps in our processes.”
Partners Close Gaps and Improve Results
Today Allied teams with Provista Procurement and uses Envi to improve order and contract management. Craig Coburn-McDonald, Shipping & Receiving Clerk, noted “Our business partners helped us not only improve our processes, but also our data foundation. For example, HST helped us compile 6 months of usage data, which we imported into Envi to create a new item master based on what we were actually purchasing and using. We had a fresh start, with usage data that showed what we really needed.”
“With Envi, we now walk our supply areas with an iPad, take pictures of items and create replenishment orders. It’s an extremely automated process. We use Envi to create orders, then push to pending. Envi creates separate POs for each vendor, then we submit to Provista Procurement, where they review, check price and availability and ultimately place our orders. They manage everything and if needed, jump in to locate substitute products or identify new vendors. They’re like extensions of our team. We get great follow-up, and they’re quick with answers.”
As part of their improvement effort, the Allied team worked with Provista Procurement to improve supplier costs. “The Procurement team provided more visibility to costs associated with distributors, and helped us negotiate a solution that allowed us to move most of our business to a single distributor and achieve significant savings,” said Opaczewski. “Being as large as we are, we found we were overlooking some contract issues. Our Procurement lead helped show us where we were paying higher costs.”
Even during the year of COVID, with supply costs running higher than usual, working with Provista Procurement, Allied achieved cost reductions of over $220,000 in contract product and non-contract product savings.
The automation and savings now spans the entire Allied organization. “Our AP team uses QuickBooks with an Envi interface, and with Envi’s 3-way price matching, as soon as we receive an invoice from a vendor, we price match to ensure the correct contract price,” noted Coburn-McDonald. “We’ve increased the accuracy of pricing across all supplies.”
Best Practice Award Highlights
Allied Physicians Surgery Center recieved the Envi best practice award for their accomplishments in contract management and price accuracy.
- Maximizing contract value: ongoing contract management ensures optimal pricing
- Automating order management processes, reduction of paper and paper-based processes
- Achieving hard dollar savings
- Consolidating vendors
- Ongoing back-order management: identifying product substitutions, vendors when needed
- Creating internal alignment around new processes