UChicago Medicine embraces and demonstrates strategic planning prowess

July 24, 2023

Even though UChicago Medicine’s Supply Chain & Support Services team developed its 2025 strategic plan and vision the year before the global pandemic hit, they aren’t allowing COVID-19 to derail efforts and progress, according to Vice President, Eric Tritch.

“Yes, the 2025 vision was developed in 2019, and unfortunately didn’t predict the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tritch told Healthcare Purchasing News. “However, we have aligned our Supply Chain vision around the organizational vision, and while the focus and principles remain, it just forced our focus more internally for a few years. But as we look to our next 2030 vision, we will continue to build off the same pillars of Care Experience, Growth, and Value. We are fortunate to have a strong supply chain and hospital leadership team that collaborates and pivoted to manage through the pandemic very well.” 

UCM Supply Chain’s 2025 Strategic Vision features three priorities: 

Care Experience:

•       Ensuring the Right Product/Service/Equipment, is in the Right Place at the Right Time, at the Right Quality, and the Lowest Total Cost

•        Supporting acquisition and implementation of the latest technologies across the care continuum to improve access, experience, and value for patients and clinicians

•        Engaging and developing our team members in support of delivering an exceptional patient and caregiver experience


•        Driving robust Value Analysis and motivated problem-solving that supports a sustainable financial future of highly differentiated clinical services, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and cost efficiency

•        Enabling signature clinical programs to integrate discovery and delivery of novel therapies, provide high quality care delivery, and offer innovative clinical trials and training programs

•        Providing consistent high value supply chain services across the expanding health system, ambulatory, physician network, and joint venture and affiliate partners

•        Driving business development and partnership with local and diverse organizations that support growth and sustainability in the communities that we serve


•        Delivering exceptional value for patient care through the highest quality performance with greater cost efficiency 

Tritch’s team also conceived a comprehensive Supplier Scorecard process that it continues to conduct annually and cross-functionally by the Sourcing Category Leaders and the Quality and Process Excellence Engineer. 

The process involves 60 business reviews per year with UCM’s top strategic suppliers ranked by spending – 40 clinical product suppliers and 20 non-clinical product suppliers. The team scores both quantitatively and qualitatively on quality, cost, delivery, technology and service, creating an open dialogue around UCM expectations and growing the partnerships with their top suppliers, according to Tritch. 

“The Supplier Scorecard process was a culmination of really thinking hard about what we want our suppliers focused on, and a pursuit of perfect performance for our patients and their families,” Tritch said. “We first firmed up our goals of Quality, Cost, Delivery, Technology, and Service. We then built out the scorecard format and started to conduct our first live meetings with our suppliers. We took feedback and learned and evolved the program to what it is today. Our suppliers appreciate the transparent dialogue and ability to review it with senior leadership and get direct feedback on where they are doing well and where they need to improve.” 

Tritch’s team also conducts an annual UCM Supplier Conference that attracts the leadership of more than 70 key suppliers, including local and diverse supplier partners. At this yearly event, they share strategic objectives for the health system and where suppliers fit into the process, as well as hold interactive discussions between UCM senior executives and key supply chain leaders with supplier attendees. 

“This is a collaborative effort across our teams, but it is spearheaded each year by our Strategic Sourcing team,” Tritch noted. “It is a way for us to set strategic expectations each year for our supplier community, and a chance for them to hear from and talk with our most senior leaders about what our goals are and how they can help us. We have been able to keep the timing from having any major conflicts, and it is just a half-day event.”        

About the Author

Rick Dana Barlow | Senior Editor

Rick Dana Barlow is Senior Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News, an Endeavor Business Media publication. He can be reached at [email protected].