Healthcare Purchasing News awarded UChicago Medicine the 2023 Supply Chain Department of the Year Award at AHRMM23 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. on August 7, 2023. The Supply Chain & Support Services team at UCM has demonstrated excellence through accountability, innovation, and its commitment to teamwork. These actions lead to the team exceeding key performance indicators and other operational benchmarks. UCM is the 20th healthcare provider to be awarded this respected designation.
UCM opened its first hospital in 1927 in Hyde Park, where the medical center complex is located on the University of Chicago campus. UCM has expanded to include dozens of outpatient clinics around the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana.
One notable accomplishment from the Supply Chain & Support Services team is that in the 10-year period between 2012 and fiscal 2020, UCM’s Supply Chain team quadrupled its annualized savings to nearly $20 million from less than $5 million.
Additionally, the team implemented a bin optimization continuous improvement project that sought to minimize the impact of a distributor line fee cost increase that was almost double, decrease the total cost of ownership by increasing minimum order quantities to control labor requirements, and increase labor efficiency by reducing the number of daily lines ordered. The team collected various data points to prove their case and phased in process changes on a system-wide level.
“One of the characteristics of award-winning healthcare supply chain operations teams that seems to have become more evident in recent years is what I might call the process of organic performance improvement,” said Healthcare Purchasing News Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow. “These forward-thinking healthcare organizations seem to mirror non-healthcare industry by empowering people and elevating processes before equipping both with technology. Bottom line: They’re not just throwing technology at a problem to solve it, which is more of an inorganic, synthetic response. The Supply Chain & Support Services team at UChicago Medicine not only understands that but embraces it as critical to their success. To them, even the simplest of tech tools amplify and reinforce the people and processes measured through detailed metrices they have implemented, which serves as a fitting example for any organization to emulate—particularly those with limited budgets and stretched staffing needs. HPN is proud to recognize UChicago Medicine as 20th annual award winner and to salute its 19 predecessors once again.”