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Healthcare Supply Chain Technology Powers Vital Feedback Loop

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, July 31, 2012

"Our team, [in] real-time will be able to track price per unit daily, and be able to see, are we realizing the savings that we've put forth?" Arruda says. "If the price of the unit starts going up, we'll be able to click on it, and it can denote or identify what are the top products that are contributing to that movement," he explains.

"Maybe there's new technology coming in we didn't know about. Then we can be more proactive on reaching out to the physicians and the facilities to say hey, wait a second here, we agreed upon this product and intervened, or if there's a new technology that has better outcomes, we can be more proactive to reengage the physicians. If the price per unit's going down, that's justifying validation that we're realizing what we said we're going to do."

On top of the upgraded Lawson-based requisitioning software powered by this data warehouse, IU Health built its own E-Requisition tool, an Amazon-like Web site that presents clinicians with pictures of the items they are ordering, whether or not the item is IU Health's preferred item in that product category, or, if it is a non-preferred item, a link to the preferred item."

For instance, if a provider searches for a glove, IU Health's preferred product tool will sort to the top, displaying along with pictures, descriptions, custom long descriptions, and additional information on that item, says IU Health data warehouse director Ben Hougland.

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