Challenges: A Multi-Site Organization with Challenges of Scale
As a leader in healthcare procurement software, Procurement Partners has honed our service by combining granular expertise with responsiveness and an attentive ear to the needs of our ever-growing client base. Our automated solutions are comprehensive and always evolving, focused on concrete results in spend management and the procurement-to-pay process so that healthcare organizations can spend more time on their mission of care and less on ordering, managing, and invoicing for inventory.
Midwest Health is a valued customer that trusts Procurement Partners with all elements of its procurement process. It’s among the healthcare organizations that enjoy up to 40 percent time savings and 95 percent contract compliance through Procurement Partners’ easy-to-use portal and automated solutions.
Procurement Partners has carved out a strong niche in post-acute and senior living care. The time savings that Procurement Partners makes possible enables the higher mission of healthcare groups such as Midwest Health. The Topeka, Kansas-based Midwest Health operates more than 80 facilities as an assisted and independent-living provider, with a portfolio of services including. senior living, memory care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing care.
For all of its more than 40 years of operation, Midwest Health has been family owned, and bases its operational philosophy around the meaning and importance of family. The ethics around Midwest Health communities are grounded in a culture of connection, respect, and purpose—a bustling and vital organization that strives to make life rewarding for those individuals it cares for.
Solutions: Efficiency and Visibility
For large multi-site healthcare organizations such as Midwest Health, efficient systems and accessible data are keys for managing their procurement processes.
“Procurement Partners is crucial to all that we manage here,” says Whitney Cartmill, Midwest Health’s Director of Purchasing. “As a purchasing team, we are a team of only two people supporting more than 80 facilities. In order to do that, you have to have excellent processes in place.”
The range of services offered by Midwest Health means a variety of procurement challenges. Along with the complexity of operations comes issues around supply chains and vendors that can result in unnecessary spend and lost staff time.
“A typical day in the life at a senior living facility is quite hectic. It’s just so difficult for staff to do everything they need to do with the time they have,” Whitney says. “In our previous procurement process, there was no communication flow from the vendor to the system to the facility.”
This lack of efficiency and visibility impacted spend, operations, and best use of staff time. Without centralized and efficient processes, procurement can become a drag on nearly every facet of a healthcare organization.
“Staff didn’t know that the products hadn’t arrived until they weren’t there and they needed them,” Whitney explains. “Then they were running around trying to track down items and getting in touch with customer service to get things reset. Procurement Partners has been a big fix for that big problem.”
Before Procurement Partners’ solution, a good deal of daily frustration around procurement processes had become the norm. It didn’t sit well with Whitney, as many other procurement professionals in the healthcare sphere can easily understand.
“There’s nothing worse than seeing the facilities frustrated because things are complicated to figure out, and it’s adding time to their day,” Whitney says.
Results: Time and Cost Savings
Midwest Health began trial usage of Procurement Partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company selected several facilities to launch Procurement Partners while running its old system in others. Whitney saw firsthand the immediate differences in procedural efficiency that Procurement Partners delivers.
“As we were going through supply chain issues, we were able to see the differences,” Whitney explains. “One huge thing that I saw right away was being able to go directly to vendor websites. That’s huge when you’re having supple chain issues because the vendor is updating their website in real time with what’s available.”
These kinds of disruptions had been a major, if common, pain point for Midwest Health and procurement officers like Whitney. But using the Procurement Partners solution meant much greater efficiency—and she was able to see it side-by-side next to the old system.
“The facilities could find alternative solutions instead of waiting for products to come or not come, and then having to go back and re-order” she says. “Doing that pilot was really great for us for seeing the difference, and how it really helped us solve an issue that we were facing.”
Relieving that challenge, along with others, with E-procurement frees up capital and human resources and helps healthcare organizations live up to their potential. This holds true most particularly for businesses that find themselves short-staffed.
“I would say that, more than ever, we have to use technologies to gain efficiencies at every business, every workplace, and especially for those with staffing issues and more work than ever for employees,” Whitney says. “If we can implement systems such as Procurement Partners that help them complete their jobs so much more quickly, then they can dedicate their time to resident care—which is our priority.”
And having visible data also removes roadblocks for finance, which can typically become tangled up in compliance issues without robust technological solutions.
“I think a lot of organizations face issues with compliance,” Whitney says. “And that’s where a procurement system is a huge help. It makes sure you’re buying exactly what you should be buying. Procurement Partners makes it easy for our facilities to comply with our purchasing processes and protocol because it’s so easy for them to log on and order exactly what they need.”
Procurement Partners takes Whitney and other healthcare procurement officers through an easy-to-use solution that manages the entire procurement process from start to finish. She’s able to work with preferred vendors and contracted pricing, and the system follows the purchasing process from order to approval, then invoicing flow to Accounts Payable and vendor payment. This efficiency and visibility saves money and time, bringing the focus back to mission.
“At the end of the day, our staff is here to take care of the residents,” Whitney says. “So anything that we can do to make their jobs easier, quicker, and more efficient, the better. I would absolutely recommend Procurement Partners for anyone looking for an all-in-one e-Procurement solution.”