Monday, August 7, 2017

Five ways to talk with your leadership about certification

by Casey S. Czarnowski, BA, CRST, CIS

This is part two of HIGH FIVE, a multi-part series on leading a successful and fulfilling sterile processing career. 

Conscientious hospitals require their SPD technicians to acquire certification at an early point in their career. Certification through an established organization such as the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), or the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) is important because it demonstrates a level of dedication from the technician, and proves an expertise that goes beyond the hands-on training that technicians receive on the job. Dedication and expertise are traits that patients expect throughout the entire spectrum of their care.

However, the examinations for these certifications are difficult, and impossible for most people to pass without study and practice. Over the last five years, the average success rate on the IAHCSMM CRCST exam is only 54 percent. 1 Study of the materials provided by the certifying body is the deciding factor between success on the exam and having to try again. Study time is essential to a technician’s success in passing the exam, and should be granted at work, especially if it is a condition of employment.

So how can you talk to your department leadership about the need for study time at work? Here are five ways to approach your manager and supervisor about carving out time for study during your shift.

1. Offer examples of why certification is important: The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) understands the importance of certification for sterile processing technicians. Point to their rationale, which states “Advances in surgical and information technology, the emergence of new diseases and microorganisms, and the increased responsibility for all aspects of sterile processing have brought into focus how important it is for sterile processing personnel to be knowledgeable and competent.” 2

The protection of patients and everyone else who works in the hospital provides the focus to this rationale. AAMI’s recommendations are in place for the safety of patients, and this includes proper training and education for all workers involved in their care. In a healthcare facility, every person contributes to the safety of the patient, and everyone whose work touches a patient’s life should have the best training and education available. Sterilization techs often enter their profession with no education or experience, and this is why certification is especially important for them.

2. Preach the gospel of study: The best way to prepare for a certification exam is to study the materials provided by the certifying organization. All of the questions on the exam are in the materials provided by the certifying body. Certifying organizations provide study guides that contain quizzes and practice exams. The questions in the quizzes and practice exams are the same questions on the real exam. No other source can claim to be representative of an actual certification exam. Let Leadership know that the best way to be successful on these tricky (46 percent failure rate) exams is to be familiar with the questions that will actually be on the exam. Taking the practice quizzes and tests provided in the study materials is the only reliable way to do this.

Additionally, wording is important. Questions on the exams are challenging in part due to the word choice of the possible answers. The exam is looking for the best possible answer, and taking practice exams from the organization will familiarize the candidate with the language of the test, increasing their chance for success.

3. Demonstrate the necessity of study during work time: While some facilities still do not require certification, and a few have gone backwards and lifted this crucial requirement, most hospitals today voluntarily require certification. Encouragingly, four states have made certification of sterilization technicians the law, which is great news for patients. If an uncertified technician is required to have a certification within a timeframe, such as 1 year or 18 months, as a condition of employment, opportunity for study during work time should be granted by the organization. Study time at work should be offered to the SPD employee, just as continuing education during work hours is provided for employees in other professions.

4. Offer your supervisor alternative staffing ideas to assure yourself adequate time for exam preparation: In facilities that do not have an educator in the sterile processing department, staff can work with leadership to assure that there is time available to study for the certification exam. Technicians can suggest study time during low census days, trade duties with a fellow employee, or organize a lunchtime study group of candidates in the department. While department supervisors are rightfully concerned with the day’s production and quality of work, they also know that certification is important and probably remember taking their own certification exam. Communication between certification candidates and department leadership will assure successful outcomes for today’s patients and the technician’s future.

If your department is reluctant to hire a dedicated educator, there might be an educator in another department who would be willing to act in that role for the SPD. Most departments of the hospital have nurse educators working with the staff there. A good first choice is to seek out the OR educator and inquire if that person would be willing to work with SPD staff in professional development. Delores O’Connell, LPN, BA, CRCST, CIS, CHL, CSPDT, Clinical Education Specialist for Steris Corporation, notes that most larger hospitals in her Northwestern United States territory have some type of educator, “either a dedicated SPD educator or a shared perioperative educator for OR, SPD and sometimes Endo.” Providing quality education for the sterile processing department benefits the entire hospital, so an ally in education makes sense if the department does not have an educator of its own.

Sterile processing technicians are an important part of the care continuum. The professionals who clean and sterilize the instruments used in procedures should be expected to have the best training and education possible for them to contribute to the best outcome for every patient. With good communication and a well-supported, factual foundation, you can have a constructive conversation with your department leadership and gain the time you need to successfully pass your certification examination.

Casey S. Czarnowski, BA, CRCST, CIS, is a Sterile Processing Educator in Fargo, ND. His career spans 11 years at two hospitals as a Sterile Processing Supervisor, Preceptor and Educator.


2. ST79, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities, AAMI, 2013.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017



Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico


Animal Services & Welfare Community Development 

Dental Clinic 
Dental Services & Care 
Disability & Low Income Services Educational Programs 
Emergency Response 
Homeless Support Services 
Maternal Health & Infant Care
Medical Clinics & Hospitals 
Medical Missions

Countries served 10 30
Orders shipped 79 438
Charity partners 44 126
Product sent ($M) 2.9 29.6


To improve the delivery of healthcare worldwide by gathering, processing and distributing surplus medical and health supplies to charities at home and abroad.

The Mexican town of Agua Prieta lies along the US-Mexican border, adjacent to Douglas, Arizona. It had its founding in the railroad industry, transporting minerals from its home state of Sonora across the border to Arizona. While the city has impressive metrics in many areas – a 96% literacy rate, 89% of homes have electricity, etc. – a few others have remained behind the curve. One of these is emergency response. For years, emergency response to auto accidents consisted of first responders arriving by private car onto the scene. Unable to give full medical care from their car, some unnecessarily died. The Red Cross eventually took over responsibility for emergency response but remained unequipped, lacking  ambulances and other life-saving tools.

The Logan Rotary Club of Utah responded to this need by acquiring, equipping and donating ambulances to Agua Prieta. The most recent of these was just earlier this year. Using an ambulance donated by the Smithfield, Utah fire department, the Rotary Club went to work. $2000 bought new tires and gasoline. With the remaining funds, the Rotary Club approached Globus Relief for the medical products to best equip the ambulance for its future mission. Luckly for them, their Globus contact, LaRae Thorpe, knew just what to do. As a long-time emergency medicine educator, LaRae expertly guided them to the best products to outfit the ambulance at the lowest cost.

The ambulance supplied, the Logan Rotary Club drove it to Douglas, where they delivered it into the hands of Manny, a Douglas, Arizona firefighter of Mexican origins. He transferred it to Agua Prieta, where it will be used to save lives for years to come. Globus Relief is proud to partner with the Logan Rotary Club and Douglas fire department to respond to the call
to make life-saving equipment accessible to all.

Globus Relief is Your Humanitarian Non-Profit Inventory Solution. Please contact us if you have medical or dental equipment, instruments, and supplies or other resources available for donation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prime directive


CHICAGO – Eye for Transport’s (eft) annual 3PL & Supply Chain Summit here at the onset of summer in mid-June tends to spark a flurry of topical ideas for discussion during Healthcare Purchasing News’ Editorial Advisory Board meeting held during AHRMM later in the summer.
Unfortunately, healthcare Supply Chain professionals typically don’t attend this worthwhile event, now in its 15th year, not due to lack of scintillating topics and speakers (it has both) but more because of an inability to extract themselves from daily operations or even budget for it, particularly if attending AHRMM a month or so later any of the popular IDN Summits carries a higher priority. Granted, those events have direct – and cost-justifiable – applications to healthcare operations. Eft’s event, on the other hand, concentrates on the supply chain function in the manufacturing, distribution and retail arenas with a tentacle extended toward healthcare supplier challenges. Yet eft’s event serves as an essential barometer for issues the healthcare supply chain community may face.
In previous years, the eft event explored a host of potential “disruptors” threatening to crack the status quo, ranging from 3-D printing to augmented and virtual reality devices (AR/VR) to drones to driverless/self-driving vehicles to machine learning/”Internet of Things” to advanced customer-centric, real-time software applications that intrigued attendee curiosity even as they sought tips on such esoteric issues as filling empty spaces in trailers with products to maximize logistics value.
This year, however, the buzz seemed to hone in on two corporate intruders and their ilk threatening to disrupt their acceptable pace toward progress, if not the status quo.
In fact, the fawning and fear rekindled memories of then Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. CEO Rick Scott’s keynote at AHRMM in the mid-1990s when the for-profit powerhouse remained perched confidently atop the peak of its industry influence. Back then many supply chain pros feared the Columbia/HCA-inspired consolidation wave among wary providers, GPOs and suppliers would result in massive job losses that never materialized. By decade’s end, Columbia/HCA succumbed to financial scandal, just as the dot-com fad swooped in to rekindle similar fears.
Surprisingly, AHRMM attendees chose not to foment any kind of rebellion (polite and respectful or otherwise) against Scott (now governor of Florida), but rather bestowed upon him what could only be described as rock-star reverence, which Scott obviously relished. He proclaimed platitudes and positive feedback about the value of supply chain management, leaving attendees with cotton candy assurances that supply chain was valuable and valued.
Many here made noise about the impact of Amazon and Uber and similar app-based services seeking to satisfy increasing customer demands (no matter how unrealistic) and expand into more areas in their quest for venture capital funding. Speakers cloyingly classified this “trend” as the “Amazonification” and “Uberization” of logistics and supply chain services.
To wit, one prominent supply chain senior executive boasted to the crowd that “Amazon won’t do well in groceries, for example.” Amusingly, the next morning Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods.
During one popular panel discussion, titled, “Keeping the customer by web, brick, truck and drone: Creating a seamless loop to close the retail ecosystem,” the panel included an Amazon senior executive who, not surprisingly, assumed the role of Elvis Presley re-entering the building after a 40-year sabbatical.
Even though the moderator gamely attempted to incorporate perspectives from all of the panelists, the audience clearly wanted to hear from Ed Feitzinger, Amazon’s Vice President, Global Logistics, about whether they were going to take over the world like some nefarious organization from a James Bond film.
“Amazon’s approach starts with the customer and works backward,” Feitzinger said. He further clarified that he was speaking about their direct/business-to-consumer business and not anything else. “We put assets and prices together to meet customer demand,” he continued. “You don’t have a choice to not meet it.” Not exactly a profound truth, but simple enough in its profundity.
Feitzinger asked the crowd for a show of hands on how many were Amazon Prime members. Most in the audience raised their hands. Playing to an obviously supportive crowd that still seemed to question competitive, corporate and job security, he insisted, “We have to meet your demands and keep you satisfied.”
The moderator cut to the chase: “Why is there all this worry about what Amazon is going to do? With Amazon’s long-term goal of vertical integration, are there increased opportunities for 3PL companies with Amazon?”
Feitzinger deftly dodged the “will we all be employed in our current companies or work for Amazon?” intent. “I can’t respond to worries and rumors about things like 3PL creation because I don’t know. Our No. 1 concern is customer satisfaction-based. You get the product to the customer. Period.”
But if that didn’t satisfy the crowd, this apparently did: “We have no interest in being in the 3PL space,” Feitzinger said.
Aside from the Amazon and Uber obsessions that permeated educational sessions, however, much of the event centered on technology-driven innovation with a keen focus on customer-centric services and fulfilling customer expectations via software systems designed to improve operations and increase process efficiencies.
Yet amid all the future-casting about software some execs proffered realistic assessments of those industries reportedly a decade ahead of healthcare on the IT front.
For example, during one panel, Drew McElroy, COO and Co-Founder, Transfix (one of those new “Uber-like” ventures), tempered talk of tech being able to use “Big Data” for real-time analytics just yet. “We’re getting there,” he said. “Capabilities continue to grow with platforms evolving.”
Meanwhile, fellow panelist Jett McCandless, CEO and Co-Founder, Project 44, lamented the languishing reliance on legacy systems, electronic data interchange (EDI) and fax by quipping, “That’s like trading stocks today with last month’s newspaper.”
Bill Goodgion, President, Ascent Global Logistics, set a tone when he downplayed perceptions about Amazon’s and Uber’s impact on the logistics industry. He noted that logistics remains “a highly fragmented business.” Then he uttered something that should sound familiar to those in healthcare supply chain circles: “Technology and data doesn’t solve all of our problems,” he remarked. “We’re not threatened by digitization and don’t believe [those companies] will drive 3PLs out of business.”
Polite defiance duly noted, it remains to be seen whether that vision remains short-sighted or prescient. But at least this offers healthcare counterparts a view to a drill.

Rick Dana Barlow

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Five reasons certification is crucial for Sterile Processing Technicians

by Casey S. Czarnowski, BA, CRST, CIS

Certification by a recognized professional organization is essential to the development of Sterile Processing staff. Personally and professionally, the passing of a certification exam makes better sterile processing technicians who provide better care for patients. The achievement of certification builds technicians’ pride in their work, augments their hands-on training with technical knowledge, and enhances the Sterile Processing department’s level of professionalism, elevating its role in the patient care continuum.

The ultimate goal of education, as demonstrated by certification, is patient safety. Well-educated technicians know and follow best practices for cleaning and sterilizing instruments for surgeries and clinical procedures – and that leads unequivocally to best outcomes for patients.

Both the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and Joint Commission (TJC) – organizations that exist to enhance patient safety across the entire healthcare industry – recognize the importance of certification for sterile processing technicians. AAMI’s “Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities,” ST79, states that sterile processing personnel should be certified within two years of employment and maintain that certification throughout their employment. Research by the TJC describing a QI intervention also shows strong support for staff training, specifically indicating training toward formal certification during work hours. Technicians can then get a valid certification from a professional organization like the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), or the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).

Building on the recommendations of AAMI and TJC, conscientious hospitals voluntarily require that technicians earn certification, as a condition of employment, within a short timeframe after he or she is hired. Most encouragingly for patients, four states, most recently Tennessee, have made certification of sterile processing technicians the law.

So, why do these important entities believe is it beneficial for sterile processing technicians to achieve certification from a professional organization like IAHCSMM or CBSPD? Here are five reasons why certification by an established professional organization is critical for Sterile Processing Technicians.

1.  Certification enhances hands-on training: Good healthcare facilities provide extensive training for their sterile processing personnel. Orientation and hands-on training can last several weeks or months, depending on the variety of work performed by Technicians. Along with hands-on training, healthcare facilities should provide time to study the theories behind the daily work using texts provided by IAHCSMM and CBSPD. It is not enough to know what button to push on the sterilizer; to be most effective, the technician must know what the sterilization parameters mean, and why we must sterilize instruments the way we do.

An Educator connected to the SPD department can help department leadership coordinate study time so as not to take away from production. Education is important, but so is having the right instruments available for doctors to perform procedures! Experienced leaders recognize this fact, and work with the Educator to find a balance between best outcomes for patients – both today and in the future.

2.  Certification proves a level of expertise: The majority of employees in a healthcare facility come into their jobs already educated. This is not the case with most Sterile Processing Technicians. Sterile Processing and Materiel Management are not common choices for post-secondary education, and currently there are few accredited programs available for the career of Sterile Processing Technician. Therefore, sterile processing techs must receive their education along with their training.

3.  Certification engenders a feeling of professionalism in the technician: Most healthcare facility employees have pursued their career through education and already have credentials upon hire. Those without education might experience a feeling of inferiority when interacting with other members of the patient care team. This need not be! A Sterile Processing Technician who has undergone the rigorous study required for certification can feel they are on comparable footing, in regard to their own profession, with the nurses and technicians they encounter in their daily work.

4.  Certification provides theory to prove best practices in training: Sterile Processing Technicians might receive great training, but without knowledge of the theory behind the work, they are less able to speak to the importance of their processes and how their work directly impacts the quality of life of every patient. For example, unusual events, such as early release of sterilized implants, are not as easily addressed. Certification returns the technician to the patient-centered occupation of sterile processing, and balances it with the necessities of learning the mechanics to perform day-to-day duties.

5.  Certification introduces the technician to a wider world: Often lacking direct contact with patients, Sterile Processing Technicians can feel ‘isolated in the hospital basement.’ When technicians come to understand that there are over 50,000 CBSPD- or IAHCSMM-certified Technicians in the world, they will feel their place as high-level providers of patient care. Subscriptions to publications such as Healthcare Purchasing News, and others, typically follow and expose technicians to a broader worldview and help them to define their role in patient care continually. 

Our most important regulatory and advisory bodies recognize Sterile Processing Technicians as critical components of every patient’s care. For the Managers that oversee Sterile Processing Departments, and the Vice-Presidents that approve their budgets, the Technicians that staff the Sterile Processing Department must be as well-educated as they are well-trained in best practices for cleaning and sterilizing instruments. Get certified!

Casey S. Czarnowski, BA, CRCST, CIS, is a Sterile Processing Educator in Fargo, ND. His career spans 11 years at two hospitals as a Sterile Processing Supervisor, Preceptor and Educator.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Reaping the back 40


In a world easily and readily distracted by an abundance of fickle multimedia noise, a four-decade span represents a long time.

Better yet, 40 years represent a dedicated commitment — redundancy acknowledged and intended for emphasis.

That’s how long Healthcare Purchasing News (and two heritage names — Purchasing Administration, followed by Hospital Purchasing News) has been covering the healthcare supply chain profession and industry without interruption.

And for good reason, too.

Why? HPN’s founder, the late Bill McKnight (Bellwether Class of 2009) recognized the inherent and indelible value that Supply Chain — in form, function, intelligence and responsibility — brings to a healthcare organization and the healthcare industry in general. After all, Supply Chain truly touches every area and everything.

Forty years later, that philosophy continues to ring true. Four decades later, HPN’s team members from editorial, advertising, production and administration all adhere to it as well.

As we celebrate HPN’s 40th anniversary all year long, we ask our readers to look back and forward at key industry and professional trends as you see them and complete a four-question survey.

We debuted the survey at our booth at the IAHCSMM conference in Nashville in May; we plan to offer it at our booth at the AHRMM conference in Washington, DC later this month.

As the longest-running trade publication continually covering the healthcare supply chain profession, we invite you to celebrate with us by briefly sharing your insights on the past, present and future. 

Answer as many as you can in a few sentences.
  1. What do you believe has been the most significant news event/item about Sterile Processing and Distribution (SPD) and/or Supply Chain Management Operations that HPN has covered during the last 40 years and why?
  2. What do you believe has been the most innovative development/improvement in Sterile Processing and Distribution (SPD) and/or Supply Chain Management Operations within the last 40 years and why?
  3. How do you — individually or your department — plan to save your organization money this year?
  4. What do you foresee as the most intriguing development/improvement to come to the Sterile Processing and Distribution (SPD) and/or Supply Chain Management Operations profession within the next 10 years and why?

Submit your responses to me via email at

We will continue to promote this survey throughout the summer via the Daily Update on We plan to share the results with readers in the fall as we cap off a capstone year.

On behalf of everyone at HPN, thanks for reading and supporting us through the decades as we look forward to and plan for the path ahead.

Rick Dana Barlow

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Expansion: Building your global sourcing program to maturity.

Five part series:

How Value Analysis Teams (VAT) can improve overall quality, reduce costs and positively impact patient experience by engaging in global sourcing. 

Part  Five- by 
Bethany Gleim, Director of Value Analysis, ASP Global

Expansion: Building your global sourcing program to maturity.

You have completed your clinical trials, engaged your staff [Go Time: The last critical steps implementing a value based, VAT-led global sourcing program] and now your first batch of globally sourced hospital products are being used throughout your facilities. Now what?

Validate your success:

Once the products have 3 months of utilization in the clinical setting, compare their performance to the legacy products they replaced. You should also be hearing from clinicians that the patients for whom they care are being made more comfortable by their new custom blanket or amenity kit (as an example). You should then validate the cost savings and report the results to the value analysis committees and senior leadership.

You always want to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Regular review of the performance of your globally sourced and custom hospital products should more than likely lead you to ask the following question: how do we expand the program?
Phase 2: Identifying the next batch of globally sourced hospital products

After successfully converting the first group of products, it is time to identify the products that you will want to review in the second group of products you want to globally source. Similar to the first round of products, the next group needs to have ease of conversion, potential for quality improvement, patient experience improvement, potential branding opportunities and significant savings.  Listed below are examples of some of the products that have been successful in the second phase of enhancing the globally sourced product model.

     Patient Slipper Socks.  Are the socks you are placing on your patient fitting properly?  Are the slippers too tight around the ankle causing poor circulation? Do they have ample tread to assist with preventing a fall on the nightly mopped floors? Do your clinicians have all the sizes and colors required to make the best selection for their patients? Is this what your patients are experiencing? If yes, then by working with your VAT teams and your global sourcing partner you will be able to determine how the socks can be improved.  

     Tourniquets. Do the tourniquets the staff is using have adequate elasticity?  Would the staff rather have smooth or textured, flat packed or rolled and banded?  Which style and color works best for your clinical staff?  Together with your global sourcing partner you will make an impact on what the staff’s satisfaction as well as your patient’s when selecting a clinically acceptable product.

     Emesis Bags. Many health systems have chosen to eliminate the plastic basins in favor of converting to emesis bags.  An example of how global sourcing and listening to clinical staff feed-back can influence product design, a new emesis bag was created with an easy lock design providing additional containment, decreasing the potential for cross contamination, and improving clinical safety.

Building towards maturity:

Through the collaboration of your clinical staff, VA committees, supply chain team and global sourcing partner you have successfully converted and validated the new products.  It is now time to build the framework for continuing to add new globally sourced items over the next several years.  One idea is to meet with each of your department managers, all departments have different needs by meeting with the managers they can assist in determining items that can be globally sourced to meet their needs. Continue to meet monthly with your teams and global sourcing partner reviewing the potential new opportunities that were identified when meeting with department managers. While meeting monthly review the product ideas, possible clinical improvements, how the new products could impact patient satisfaction and savings impact to their individual departments and the hospital. 

Program Elements

Given its value, your hospital global sourcing program is not a one-shot proposition. Your value analysis team should provide regular, ongoing clinical education and communication to support the program and its associated benefits. The team should continue to track program items, quality improvements, newly branded products, new opportunities for patient experience measures and cost savings reporting the results to the Value Analysis Committee who supports the Global Sourcing Program and Senior Leadership.  The team should continue to meet with clinical liaisons on any and all possible improvements to currently used products evaluating usage and opportunities for standardization.

At a minimum, global sourcing helps the hospital value analysis team accomplish its mission of delivering clinically acceptable products at the lowest possible prices. But its potential is much greater: by optimizing many of the medical products used in the hospital with improvements in quality, utility, price and the patient experience. 

Learn More >

About the author
Bethany Gleim is director of value analysis for ASP Global, a leader in global sourcing strategies and programs that enable IDNs, hospitals and large group practices to take advantage of lower costs and improved quality in hospital medical supplies available through direct sourcing, an efficient supply chain model and the global marketplace.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Go Time: The last critical steps implementing a value based, VAT-led global sourcing program

Five part series:

How Value Analysis Teams (VAT) can improve overall quality, reduce costs and positively impact patient experience by engaging in global sourcing. 

Part  Four - by 
Bethany Gleim, Director of Value Analysis, ASP Global

Go Time: The last critical steps implementing a value based, VAT-led global sourcing program

Having successfully achieved organizational strategy acceptance for your hospital’s global sourcing program [How Value Analysis Can Gain Strategy Acceptance for the Global Sourcing Program Throughout the Entire Organization], your hard work is about to pay off. The following are the final steps needed to launch the program that will deliver clinically acceptable or superior products at 20 - 50 percent savings and improvements in the customer experience compared to the legacy products they replace.

Completing any required clinical trials

Your clinicians know best what products they need, want and how those products need to perform. Among the 10-15 pre-selected launch products in your global sourcing program (the easily convertible, high volume low hanging fruit), feedback from sample products in either formal or informal clinical trials needs to be acquired.

Once complete, the VAT and sourcing partner will together confirm the final specifications, pricing and contracts as required.

Coordinating the conversion dates

Within the overarching communications program, the team will need to be alerted to, and prepared for, the depletion of the legacy products and the arrival of your globally sourced replacements. Any lingering or foreseeable hurdles in delivery and receiving or other ‘last mile’ logistics issues must be resolved at this point. All inventory locations including patient rooms, crash carts, departmental stockrooms, unofficial inventory locations and the hospital’s main stockroom must be identified at this point as well.

Continuing communication

As discussed throughout the first three series, communication is critical to the success of your new program.  Ask yourself the following questions; has the entire supply chain team been made aware of the approved conversion? Has proper communication been sent advising the clinical staff that a legacy product is being eliminated and new product is being introduced to the organization? Has literature including product descriptions, possible differences and new MMIS number been placed in the stockrooms and breakrooms?  Once again, the communication element of your global sourcing program is critical to assuring smooth product conversions. Your global sourcing partner is available to help with any communication and education to the staff if needed.

Stay tuned for the final piece in the series: metrics evaluation and program expansion.

Learn More >

About the author
Bethany Gleim is director of value analysis for ASP Global, a leader in global sourcing strategies and programs that enable IDNs, hospitals and large group practices to take advantage of lower costs and improved quality in hospital medical supplies available through direct sourcing, an efficient supply chain model and the global marketplace.