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Vizient, Inc Recognizes Bassett’s Supply Chain Savings Thanks to Pandemic-Induced Improvements

Written By Editor on 10/28/21 | 10/28/21

Bassett Healthcare Network was recently recognized by Vizient, Inc. for its demonstrated excellence in lowering supply chain costs. Its designation as a “participation leader” in its national Impact Standardization Program reflects Bassett’s participation in all 13 Impact programs offered by Vizient.

 

Savings through Vizient’s rebate programs total about $200,000—a significant amount, but only a fraction of a whole. “We saved over six million dollars in 2021,” says Joseph Ruffino III, Bassett’s Supply Chain director. “That’s 1.5 million more than the year before. My team is always looking for opportunities to reduce costs and this accomplishment is something we feel very good about.”

 

Bassett’s recent supply chain advancements go further than just a better bottom line. COVID-19 pushed the supply chain to its limits, but the changes needed to meet those challenges have improved the whole system. 

 

Russell Grant is not in Bassett’s Supply Chain department, but as director of Infection Control and Prevention, he knows the pinch of low supply and high demand as well as anyone else. “As the pandemic intensified in our region last fall, we quickly realized that the standard monthly meeting was not going to cut it,” remembers Grant. “We needed a way of knowing which supplies were being utilized where. When there was a shortage, we needed a process that would get the best possible replacements as quickly as possible.”

 

Ruffino enfolded Grant into a new Product Evaluation Team (PET) that included representatives from each network entity, plus Nursing and Infection Control. They met virtually weekly—and more often if an urgent situation arose. Meanwhile, Supply Chain streamlined their request and replacement processes. The result was a responsive system that identified problems, encouraged robust dialogue and delivered solutions.

 

Although the new and improved PET was created in response to the pandemic, the system has been such a success that it will continue even when the pandemic ends.

 

“I’ll give you an example of what this team can accomplish,” says Grant. “A few months ago, a PET hospital rep recommended a different brand of Foley wipes—the disposable sanitary napkins used to clean patient catheters. Within days, the other entities were trying samples. Within weeks, everyone in the network had switched.

 

“That’s a seemingly small change, but it has a big impact,” Grant continues. “Better wipes are better at cleaning, reducing patient infections. They also make nurses doing Foley care happier. And it just so happens that these were also a little cheaper—which can add up at the volumes we use network-wide.”

 

“Lowering supply chain costs is crucially important – yet often under-recognized – as a way of improving patient care across our network,” says Jeff Joyner, Bassett’s chief operating officer. “Smarter purchasing and contracting isn’t just about saving money. It frees up resources that can then be invested in caring for our patients and supporting our caregivers in other ways. It is the kind of improvement that makes other improvements possible. I am thankful for the hard work of all those in our Supply Chain Service Center who worked with Vizient on this achievement.”

 

Vizient, Inc, out of Irving, TX, helps not-for-profit health systems across the country develop strategies to deliver quality services. Bassett has been a member organization with Vizient since 2007.

 

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About Bassett Healthcare Network

Bassett Healthcare Network is an integrated health system that provides care and services to people living in a 5,600 square mile region in upstate New York. The organization includes five corporately affiliated hospitals, over two dozen community-based health centers, more than 20 school-based health centers, two skilled nursing facilities, and other health partners in related fields. To learn more about services available throughout the Bassett Healthcare Network, visit www.bassett.org. Follow Bassett on Facebook at facebook.com/Bassett.Network.

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