Winners announced for the SMI Tom Hughes Collaboration Award

Oct. 20, 2022

The winners of the inaugural SMI Tom Hughes Collaboration Award were announced at the SMI Fall Forum in Scottsdale, AZ, on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. The annual award has been established to recognize efforts that involve both supply chain trading partners successfully collaborating to bring innovation, discovery, and improvements to the healthcare supply chain. The award recognizes members of the SMI community who have successfully collaborated to solve a problem together and achieved measurable results.

The inaugural winners are Allina Health and Medtronic. The organizations won for their collaborative efforts to transform beyond traditional transactional relationship. Medtronic and Allina Health have a long history of collaboration, and during the early days of the pandemic, they demonstrated how a large hospital system and industry could come together to redeploy resources to meet the demand of surge planning and preparedness more effectively. As high volumes of infected patients flooded the healthcare system, causing alarm in Minnesota healthcare workers, Allina and the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) partnered with Medtronic to redesign a COVID-19 patient flow and a healthcare worker (HCW) safety process. The result was an initiative that created and implemented an Enhanced Traffic Control Bundling (eTCB) in various hospitals and emergency rooms across Minnesota.

By leveraging the expertise and resources of several multi-disciplinary teams across both organizations, they identified and implemented best practices aimed to reduce nosocomial infections as compared to national benchmarks, preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and improve patient traffic flow for patient and HCW safety. As a result of the traffic control protocol, data from the emergency departments of participating hospitals indicated a lower overall infection rate of HCW (1.14%) vs published infection rates reported by the CDC of other US-based hospitals (3% - 12%) during the same time period. The traffic control protocol was implemented in 18 emergency departments, nine Med/Surg unites and nine ICUs across five health systems in Minnesota in just 30 days.

In addition, Honorable Mentions for the Tom Hughes Collaboration Award included:

· Concordance Healthcare and the County of Los Angeles Public Health for their collaborative efforts to maintain the temperature integrity of COVID-19 vaccines for distribution and delivery.

· Mass General Brigham and GCB Medical Supply were named for their collaborative efforts to find quality isolation gowns.

· Legacy Health and Medline were also named for their partnership to forecast key supplies based on surgical volumes during the pandemic.

Tom Hughes was a long-recognized supply chain leader and tireless innovator, pioneer, and creator who was at the forefront of promoting the power of provider-supplier collaborations to create impactful and lasting positive change in the industry. See related story on HPN

SMI provides a nexus for healthcare providers, suppliers, distributors, and disruptors to network and collaborate on innovations that drive meaningful improvements in supply chain agility, efficiency and resilience. SMI provides a unique, non-commercial community where members forge long-term relationships as they work together to improve patient care and the healthcare marketplace in the United States.

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