The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Martin

Col. Co. Health System receives award for Materials Management Redesign

Supply improvements save CCHS time and money


Courtesy photo

Columbia County Health System Purchasing Manager Chris Dave (r) and his assistant Matt Ott earn CCHS a 2019 Intalere Healthcare Achievement Award.

DAYTON-Columbia County Health System Purchasing Manager Chris Dave and his assistant Matt Ott will be rewarded with a trip to Denver, Colo. in May, where they will be honored at the annual Intalere member conference as winners of the 2019 Intalere Healthcare Achievement Awards. Through its awards program, Intalere recognizes its members for their outstanding and innovative contributions to their patients, community and business partners in reducing healthcare costs, improving healthcare quality and serving the community.

Columbia County Health System (CCHS) was chosen as one of two nationwide winners in the Supply Chain/Data Management or Supply Cost Efficiencies category for its Materials Management Redesign project.

"Our Intalere representative told me that this was an especially amazing accomplishment as we are the only facility selected from this region," said CCHS CFO Cheryl Skiffington.

Skiffington said that CCHS joined Intalere, a group purchasing organization (GPO), last year, to help the hospital get better pricing. The hospital previously utilized four GPOs, but contact was minimal, and benefits were not being realized.

"They have been such a great partner! Any time we need a new piece of equipment or supplies, we contact our account manager and he sources the best supplier and price," she said.

Skiffington, who nominated CCHS for the award, said that Dave had no hospital background before coming to CCHS but had worked for a large retailer and had done a lot of space planning.

"We call the area where our supplies are kept 'the dungeon' because it is dark and has a low ceiling. Over the years, lots of hobbled-together wooden shelves were built with scrap wood to house the supplies, but it wasn't well-organized, and things weren't always easy to find," Skiffington said.

She said Dave approached her with a scale-drawing of a redesigned 1589 square-foot space that would adequately hold supplies for the hospital, the nursing home and two clinics. A request for heavy-duty metal shelving was approved and the newly-designed space was ready by the first quarter of 2018.

"Chris has clearly labeled the shelving and it is now so easy to find things. I helped with the year-end inventory in December and it was a breeze because everything was so organized," Skiffington said.

"Additionally, the dungeon is in a low part on campus, which is close to the river. Now, with the new shelving, supplies are six inches off the floor, so if there was flooding, hopefully, we wouldn't lose a lot," she added.

Skiffington said Dave and Ott have implemented PAR level stocking which keeps nurses from having to place supply orders weekly and track expirations dates to lessen wastage.

"With new processes in place, there has been an increase in inventory accuracy and a reduction in unaccounted inventory and expired products. The materials management department has become a high-functioning, important member of the system team that promotes the health and well-being of everyone in the community," said Intalere in describing the project outcome.

"All-in-all, Chris and Matt are doing a great job and I am so proud of the work they are doing," Skiffington said.


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