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Surgery Center Case Study: Less Time at Computer, More Time in OR

SpringHill Surgery Center


Springhill Surgery Center, based in Little Rock, Ark., is a multi-specialty surgical and endoscopic center. Its six operating rooms offer a wide array of surgical specialties including orthopedic, general, ophthalmology, urology, neurology, gynecology, and eye-nose-throat procedures, and four procedure rooms support the Center’s active GI and pain management programs.

Approximately 11,000 procedures are performed every year at Springhill Surgery, and the center supports more than 87 medical staff members. A busy surgery center like Springhill requires rock-solid supply chain management; but, that didn’t always happen.

When Springhill’s Terry Crow, a certified surgical technologist, took on the responsibility for materials management, this trio of factors left her no time to scrub in for surgeries.

“When I would get ready to place orders, I‘d have to go to each of four different departmental supply rooms, manually check the number of supplies in inventory and write down what I wanted to order,” Crow explains. “Then I’d go back to my computer and go into our old system to make purchase orders for each of up to ten different vendor companies. I’d make them out, print them out and then go to each company’s website and enter my order there, or call or fax it in. Then I’d have to go through the whole process and paperwork routine in reverse when the orders came in. It became my full-time job.”

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Springhill switched from its “old school” handling of materials management to the Hybrent solution. In doing so, Springhill gained efficiencies throughout Crow’s former process, and also gained better insights and transparency into its supply chain process.

The Hybrent application instantly searches all distributors and manufacturers for the optimal price and product availability. It allows users to place one order for all medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, and office supplies at the same time. Additionally, the application is mobile, so you can order and check the status of your supplies whenever you need to from wherever you are, and without having to be at a desktop computer. Hybrent also provides valuable operational data – delivering metrics and reports to help users evolve supply chain efficiency and visibility.

“Using Hybrent has cut the work I need to do manually to less than half,” says Crow. “Now I’m able to scan all my items, and Hybrent separates everything by vendor company. I hit send and the order is placed. What used to be four hours a day is now more like four hours a week. Using Hybrent has cut out so much time that now I can scrub in almost every day.”

Hybrent’s application not only frees staff time, it also allows those on the front lines of supply chain to know the center’s inventory. Springhill administrators are able to understand backorder situations in advance, keep track of discrepancies between what’s ordered and what is delivered, and manage for optimal prices by understanding which items are under contract through Springhill’s General Purchasing Organization (GPO.)

For Springhill, additional advantages of automating the administrative front end of its materials management process have included an increase in accuracy, and enhanced visibility into the data collected throughout the process — insights that fuel both planning and problem-solving to impact profitability on the back end.

“As we’re recording inventory levels and pricing, using the Hybrent technology means fewer mistakes because there are fewer hands in the pie. The scanning capability means the data is entered correctly, reducing our margin for error, and it can be retrieved in multiple ways, more consistently,” said Springhill Administrator Pam Hooper. “In addition, Hybrent ensures we’re staying in compliance on contracts. We now know, on a real-time basis, whether a contract has expired, for example. This means we’re getting the best prices the first time, rather than correcting billing after the fact via a rebate or adjustment.”

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By overhauling its old supply chain management system, Springhill has greatly improved its efficiency and allowed its staff to spend more time improving the lives of patients. The Hybrent application has reduced the amount of time required for managers to navigate costing and ordering supplies, increased the managers’ knowledge of the center’s inventory, and gotten Springhill the best prices the first time around.

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