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VCU Health wins national award for excellence in cost savings and clinical integration

The award, presented by Global Healthcare Exchange, recognizes health systems for becoming clinically integrated in the medical supply chain.

 people posing for a photo at an award ceremony Members of VCU Health’s supply chain team at the GHXcellence Award ceremony. (Contributed photo)

By Adam Austin

VCU Health team members have made significant progress in finding ways to secure fiscal savings to strengthen and support the health system, so care can continue to be provided to all Virginians.

In the cases where this approach leads to better quality products, the result is that VCU Health patients can be certain their clinicians, nurses and medical staff have the best tools to provide them with the best possible care.

For their work in integrating and standardizing surgical supply chain products, VCU Health’s supply chain department was recently awarded the 2023 GHXcellence Award for Elevating the Clinically Integrated Supply Chain, presented by the supply chain data and intelligence company Global Healthcare Exchange. Josh Plauny, AVP of Supply Chain was a key contributor to this recognition, which highlights the health system’s evidence-based approach to redesign care, improve outcomes relative to costs, and elevate the maturity of health systems in becoming clinically integrated in the supply chain.

David Davis, vice president of supply chain for VCU Health System, says the department works with leadership and care teams from different surgical areas to identify surgical products that could be standardized and procured at lower prices without sacrificing quality. The result is a more integrated, standardized surgical supply chain that has led to savings of about $7 million to date.

Davis credits the close collaboration with medical professionals as a driving factor for their success.

“Having physician support is crucial in the supply chain process because physicians are the primary users of the products and resources. The last thing we want to do is make a decision about what product is used without understanding the impact to patient care. Their input helps us to better understand what is needed and what can be improved,” Davis said. “By collaborating with physicians, we can ensure that our decisions are informed and effective. This, in turn, enhances patient care and outcomes.”

Kenneth Ellenbogen, M.D., director of Electrophysiology and Pacing at VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, is one of many clinical leaders who value collaborating with the supply chain team.

“We are a team; we respect and listen to each other. It is that simple,” Ellenbogen said, describing the synergetic relationship between providers and the supply chain team. “We all need to work together – they help me, and I help them. I am deeply appreciative of everything they have done.”

The goal is to use the supply chain team’s current successful methodology across all surgical categories. Davis says their approach could become a model for other health care organizations prioritizing fiscal stability and improving supply chain coordination across their facilities.

The GHXcellence Awards program recognizes and honors leaders and visionaries who demonstrate exceptional commitment to advancing health care and supporting patients and communities.

In addition to the recognition for the health system, a team member was also recognized for their work in this field. Andria Davis, director of operations for supply chain, was awarded the Professional Women in Healthcare GHX Leadership Scholarship. This scholarship is given to a woman in the health care industry to attend the annual Professional Women in Healthcare Summit.

“Andria Davis is an amazing leader. Every single day, she puts her entire heart into her work. She works fiercely to make sure we at VCU Health have what we need to take care of our patients,” David Davis said.

The Professional Women in Healthcare Summit is a health care industry supply chain organization dedicated to creating a platform for progressive leadership and mentoring for the next generation of women leaders.

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