An independent third party interview with Alan Weintraub, Chief Procurement Officer and Director of Support Services at Enloe Medical Center
Focusing on Quality of Care Leads to Improved Quality Outcomes
Enloe Medical Center is a locally governed, 298-bed nonprofit health system with multiple hospitals, centers, clinics, and campuses. Their mission is to improve the quality of life through patient-centered care.
For years, Enloe’s supply chain operations have taken a different tack than many hospitals: for them, the supply chain is directly tied to quality. It’s a chain reaction that works for Enloe: build a culture that looks “first to quality and how the supply chain can contribute to quality outcomes,” Alan Weintraub tells us. The result: reduced costs.
As an example, they may spend a little more on a particular group of items, if it will reduce their overall cost of care. “Supply expense is a different measurement than the cost of care,” he explains. “I’m interested in reducing the organization’s cost of care. Most often that also results in supply expense reductions … but there are times where a modest increase in supply expense will result in an overall reduction in the cost of care.”
Bottom line, all of their efforts are tied to a quality outcome. And their approach is working. Both Consumer Reports and HealthGrades rate Enloe highly in patient safety and patient experience.
Make the Contracting Process More Efficient
Because Enloe looks at supply chain management as a contributor to quality, Mr. Weintraub set out to make their contracting process more efficient. Historically, hospitals use a manual approach to accepting bids. They receive paper-based RFPs and Excel-formatted pricing proposal spreadsheets.
Traditionally, someone has to manually review all these materials and figure out where the best opportunities are. Then they need to talk to the physicians and discuss how to commit their market share. It’s a labor-intensive and time-consuming process.
“I came across Curvo at just the right time,” Mr. Weintraub tells us. “I was looking for a tool that could handle the bidding process electronically … without needing to be associated [mandatory] consulting.”
Enable Faster Decision Making with Fewer Meetings
With Curvo, Enloe can accept the bids electronically, which makes it easier on the front end. On the back end, being able to model scenarios on the spot makes decision making quicker.
“When you’re sitting with physicians, you have to be nimble and factual,” he says.
Before Curvo, it took multiple sessions with their physicians — sometimes three to four meetings over the course of six months to determine where and how to split their market share. That’s because, under the old model, they couldn’t recalculate fast enough with the physicians in the room. “Now, we can we can get it done in one session,” Mr. Weintraub says.
His favorite elements of Curvo?
- Accept bids electronically
- Model different market scenarios and make decisions quickly
- View benchmarks
- View with focus on clinical and physician preference items
- Easy to get up and running
Make Quick Decisions, Effectively and Transparently
The response from Mr. Weintraub’s colleagues has been “extremely positive.”
Curvo “allows us to collaborate more effectively,” he says. “I can operate in a more transparent manner with physicians, clinicians, and senior leadership. We’re able to project and model scenarios right in front of them.” Nothing is hidden.
Improved Quality of Care
“For those categories where we have made decisions about products, Curvo has allowed us to efficiently and transparently bid contracts so that we can get a better price on those items that we believe contribute to the quality,” he continues.
An added bonus? The results of Curvo have “exponentially covered the cost,” he says. In fact, Enloe is projecting almost $750,000 in savings in a short time — with each bid only taking a few weeks to complete.
“It’s so self-operating, you don’t need a whole IT team and a bunch of supply chain people. We essentially provided Curvo a download of our data: one mass Excel download. They uploaded it. Then, you view [Curvo] over the web. It begins to tell a story of opportunity, and we pick the categories. A painless go-live.” –-Alan Weintraub, Chief Procurement Officer and Director of Support Services at Enloe Medical Center