Advantus Health Partners started 2023 by welcoming Gary Welch, director of procurement and supply chain at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, and his team of supply chain and clinical leaders to study best practice models of operating room (OR) design and management.
The goal: Expanding surgical capacity
The OUH team is in the process of expanding the surgical capacity at their main hospital. They want to do something different and innovative, such as surgical kitting or custom packs. So they traveled to the U.S. to tour several locations and visit with experts in the supply chain industry.
OUH visited Mercy Health – West Hospital in Cincinnati, OH and Medline in Chicago, IL to learn about best practice models for inventory management, logistics and distribution, sourcing, preference card management and capital equipment.
Sharing supply chain perspectives
The visit with the OUH team uncovered both similarities and differences between the US and UK. “We’re very similar in terms of the challenges that we have, not just from a health care perspective, but from a supply chain perspective. The processes are so different, and yet the challenges seem very alike in that global supply chain affects all of us in very similar ways,” shares Jimmy Chung, MD, MBA, FACS, FABQAURP, CMRP, chief medical officer at Advantus Health Partners.
OUH commented on Advantus’ relationship with suppliers, noting it is different to their own experience with the NHS (National Health Service). “Compared to OUH, Advantus has a unique and collaborative relationship with our vendor partners. We work directly with these partners to identify areas of improvement, whether that be price, logistics, efficiency and more importantly better clinical outcomes for patients,” shares John Wright, chief operating officer at Advantus Health Partners.
“I think we gave OUH a pretty good idea of a successful supply chain program in what a typical large IDN hospital should look like. We hope when they take this back home, they have a good understanding of what would be considered standard supply chain practice in the U.S., along with some innovative ideas and forward-thinking successful programming,” shares Dr. Chung.
Improving the supply chain industry through collaboration
While the visit was an educational adventure for the OUH team, Advantus Health Partners learned a lot as well. As a world-renowned center of clinical excellence and one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the UK, OUH is exactly the type of organization Advantus aims to collaborate and converse with. Our core mission at Advantus is to improve health care supply chain and have transparent conversations to push the industry forward.
Our time with the OUH team brought to light that no one health system is going to improve the health care supply chain industry on its own. To achieve this, we believe there needs to be open and dialogue and inventive relationships.
“We have to stop viewing each other as competitors and holding our information and challenges close to the vest. We need to find organizations and suppliers who are willing to have open conversations. It’s only through those conversations that we’re going to get better,” shares John Wright. “We have to stop trying to solve our problem, and solve the problem. I think that’s the big challenge that has excited me about working for Advantus, it’s that we’re trying to solve the problem.”
Interested in learning more about how Advantus Health Partners can improve supply chain performance within your organization? Contact us today!