Banner Health named 2021 Supply Chain Department of the Year by Healthcare Purchasing News

July 27, 2021

Healthcare Purchasing News named Phoenix, AZ based Banner Health as the recipient of its 18th Annual Supply Chain Department of the Year Award. HPN, which provides clinical intelligence for supply chain leadership in print and online, selected this Supply Chain Services team at Banner Health for their abilities that developed a strategic and tactical formula for their clinical, financial and operational success.

Doug Bowen, Vice President, Supply Chain Services, at Banner Health in Phoenix,  attributes the success of his award-winning team to “consistent, dedicated and purposeful work,” the hallmarks of leadership and service to achieve a “highly effective supply chain.”

Bowen’s team views much of what typically can be classified as “supply chain responsibilities,” such as evaluating, contracting, purchasing, storing, moving, maintaining and replenishing equipment and supplies, as tactical outgrowths of a quartet of key strategies.

Perfecting the customer experience represents one of the four strategies, exemplified in part by a “digital front door” that enables customers – and patients – to use computers, smart phones and apps to access medical records, schedule appointments, check in for procedures, consult with clinicians and pay bills, among other functions. Although Information Technology may be responsible for such technology, Supply Chain engineered its own carve-out on which to focus.

As much of the nation started recognizing COVID-19 as a pandemic in mid-to-late March 2020, implementing protective measures, such as quarantining and regulating availability of “non-essential services;” managing personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing product access and consumption; and navigating policy waves, Banner Health already was two full months into its operational response. Think less acceleration and more cruise control.

Bowen credits Banner Health’s Chief Medical Officer with the foresight. The organization activated a multi-disciplinary group, dubbed the “PPE Cabinet” in anticipation of supply chain disruption and also to improve preparedness for future surges that may be unrelated to COVID-19.

Taking a cue from air traffic controllers that require visibility of flight patterns, Banner Health instituted a “Supply Chain Control Tower” model to increase visibility over operations to pivot when necessary, according to James Hutchinson, Senior Director, Supply Chain Services.

Bowen attributes the foundational development and success of his award-winning team to three process changes that have since become permanent: Migrating toward reusable products from disposables, moving toward local sourcing from global sourcing and shifting to a “more balanced scorecard” from cost savings as the department’s measure of success.

Banner Health in Phoenix is part of 32 hospitals and medical centers spanning six states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

As part of its Supply Chain Department of the Year judging panel HPN historically includes supply chain executives from past title-holding organizations that have earned HPN’s top designation. This year’s panel gave the organization high marks for demand planning and crisis preparation.

The Banner Health Supply Chain team will be featured in HPN's August edition and will be celebrated at the Healthcare Purchasing News AHRMM Conference Booth 610, on August 23, at 2:30 pm, At the Nashville Music City Center,  Nashville, TN. Join us there! 

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