Since 2010, The Surgery Center of Fairbanks has treated thousands of Interior Alaska residents with a wide range of health conditions. The center is the only free-standing, fully dedicated outpatient surgical facility in the Fairbanks area, providing highly advanced surgical technology that permits residents to receive treatment without leaving the community. Owned and operated by Alaskans, the Surgery Center of Fairbanks delivers care with the highest levels of efficiency and quality, and full dedication to their patients.
Using the Envi software solution, The Surgery Center team has improved inventory management, including physical counts, the identification and location of supplies and resetting of par levels, as well as contract and price management processes.
THE SURGERY CENTER OF FAIRBANKS STORY
Inventory Management Needed Improvement
The center had recently converted to a new Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) and wanted to improve their inventory management processes. “We were looking at ways to get a better handle on the inventory we had on hand,” said Jamie Conant, BSN, RN, CPAN, CAPA, Administrator, Surgery Center of Fairbanks. “The system we were using was very old and we made a decision to upgrade to Envi.”
The team at the surgery center set aggressive goals for improvement, including reducing overstocked inventory, improving the accuracy of on-hand supply counts, adjusting par levels based on actual consumption, improving both system and physical inventory by ensuring all items had locations assigned to them and items were identified on shelves, and finally, improving accuracy of units of measure.
Conant and the team started their process by reorganizing inventory areas and completing a physical count to establish an accurate baseline.
Proactively Improving Processes With Envi
Implementing Envi helped the team move toward more automated processes and greater accuracy. “We had great customer service from Envi,” said Conant. “Our Envi implementation manager helped ensure an accurate conversion – in fact, she was here for our first inventory in the system. We worked together to organize our inventory locations, ensuring everything was in good order and labeled.”
To ensure ongoing accuracy, Conant leads a daily 5 minute huddle with supply chain to ensure everyone works together to minimize stock on hand, while running a highly efficient center. “I take a very active role in inventory, ordering, vendor and contract management, and with our GPO account representative,” said Conant. “It’s important to always know what’s going on and identify supply-related issues proactively.””
Envi Drives Best Practices
Working in partnership with colleagues, Conant is confident
the Surgery Center now has accurate locations for every item in inventory. “Now, it’s easy to find an item, count and inventory it. In fact, our team reduced on hand inventory by almost a quarter of a million dollars in the first quarter.”
The team has driven an additional $80,000 in annual savings with GPO conversion. Price lists from primary vendors are now easily be uploaded into Envi to maintain
accurate pricing in the system.
“We count on the great customer support from our Envi team, and as we look to upgrade our Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, we’re also looking at the Envi interface
so we can seamlessly exchange data across systems.”
Best Practice Award Highlights
- Improve management and reduction of on-hand inventory
- Initiate consistent price comparisons and vendor negotiations
- Implement collaborative team approach to supply
chain management processes
- Apply new management processes to maintain price
- Assign inventory locations for every item to support
physical count accuracy and ongoing item management
- Conduct quarterly physical inventories to ensure system data is clean and reliable
- Maximize use of GPO contracts for best available price
The team at The Surgery Center of Fairbanks has successfully improved a wide range of supply chain processes, in turn reducing costs and improving the time clinical staff can dedicate to patient care. “My advice to others would be – don’t be afraid of the system,” Conant concluded. “Get in there, learn it, ask questions, participate in inventory and do it regularly to get a handle on it. Meet with your vendors, get to know your GPO. These things all help the Surgery Center of Fairbanks stay streamlined, accurate and driving toward cost reductions. We’re pleased that our Envi team has been an active partner in helping achieve our goals this year.”