Collaboration between Hybrent and Medline Increases Productivity and Revenue for ASC.
On the Gulf shores of the Florida panhandle, Surgical Specialists ASC focuses on orthopaedic, pain management, ophthalmologic, and oral maxillofacial surgeries. Surgical Specialist Danny Dillard has spent over 30 years working in materials management, contract management, sterile processing and surgical areas, and was excited to be starting at the organization.
“When I first arrived at Surgical Specialists, I realized they were using a very old platform for procurement, and they weren’t taking advantage of a lot of contract connections,” Danny said. “I saw some opportunities to help the surgical center.”
Danny had used Medline at his previous ASC and said his rep was “absolutely phenomenal.”
“I already had a great working relationship with my Medline rep and I knew it was a company that could deliver just-in-time given the proximity of their distribution center to our location,” he said. “I may only order something four times a year but when I need it, I need it! I don’t have to wait two weeks for items because they are already in the warehouse.” Surgical Specialists now orders about 90% of their supplies from Medline.
“We order custom surgical packs and about 70% of the surgeries we do are orthopedic. Our rep came down and worked with us to put the packs together and they were a great solution for us cost-wise,” Danny said. “ASCs are built to be dynamic and efficient, and Medline does a great job for us with custom packs.”
Danny also mentioned the bane of almost every ASC – storage space. “I don’t always need a case of something because I have nowhere to store it. Medline was able to break supplies into smaller units,” he said. Also, being able to deliver at a consistent time is really important for an ASC.
“We don’t have delivery docks like a hospital does and we don’t have dedicated staff whose only job is to stock items. When supplies arrive, we have to get it unpacked and put away right away. Medline worked with us to deliver at a specific time so it can be done efficiently without interfering with our other responsibilities.”
Last year was a tough year for all healthcare organizations and Surgical Specialists was no different. “We had a lot of challenges getting supplies last year when Covid hit,” Danny said. “Our Medline rep was a great advocate for us and the company did a fantastic job – we never had to cancel a case because we were out of something. The difference was the support – Medline gave us amazing support.”
Working with Medline kept things running smoothly, but Surgical Specialists was still using an old software system for ordering. “It was the worst I’ve ever seen,” Danny laughed. “It was probably good when they developed it, but it had outlived its value to our organization.”
When Danny began searching for solutions, his rep introduced him to Hybrent which partners with Medline for online purchasing and inventory management. The Medline rep put Danny in touch with a Hybrent rep who “was absolutely fantastic.”
“When I saw the demo of Hybrent, I said, ‘This is the one!’ because it does so many things. It was easy to navigate, the screens make sense and I cannot say enough about the customer support I’ve received.”
One of the challenges Danny faced was convincing the C-suite to make the switch to Hybrent. “For a lot of ASCs, materials management is something that stays in the background and no one pays attention to,” Danny said. “And that’s how spending leaks occur.”
Danny gathered data to show the executives. For example, the current ordering system did not have an EDI connection, so the person ordering supplies had to call or email everything into each individual vendor. Then he had to spend time getting confirmations of shipments, fixing orders, reconciling skus and part numbers. “Spending four hours a day ordering supplies for an ASC? That was ridiculous!”
Danny explained how they were missing opportunities to capture revenue and how a new ordering system would help the ASC by increasing productivity and decreasing spend. When he showed them the data, the C-suite agreed to implement Hybrent.
Once approved, Danny ran with it. “I said, ‘Just get out of my way,’ ” he laughed. Wanting to implement the system correctly from the start, Danny took the time to rebuild the item master from scratch due to previously input bad data. “Although we didn’t completely shut down during Covid, things did slow down which gave me time to complete things,” Danny said. “It was worth the investment in time because I knew how much time it was going to save me once Hybrent was up and running.”
Danny said it helped that the Hybrent team was experienced with all kinds of issues so they had solutions for everything he threw at them. “My implementation specialist at Hybrent was great! He easily translated solutions to me and because he did a lot behind the scenes, the implementation only took about six weeks. My specialist stayed in constant communication with me.”
Danny admits that previous experience with other platforms and applications helped because he understood the system very quickly. He also appreciated the training he received from Hybrent as well.
“I have implemented three, maybe four platforms, and this was by far the easiest, smoothest and best implementation I’ve been through,” Danny said.
Where to begin?
Danny used to spend four hours per day ordering supplies and with Hybrent, it’s four to five hours per week. “I’ve recaptured a tremendous amount of time in my day,” he said. Plus, he is able to use his phone to order, which saves time especially when he’s on the go in the surgical center. It has also made a big impact on the surgery center’s AP department because Hybrent’s invoicing module has reduced a lot of manual entry errors that were happening with the previous system – this has also saved the organization time and money.
Now Danny is able to spend more time on the reports in Hybrent and making sure the surgery center is not being wasteful with supplies. “Now I can drill down and see where we are spending money,” he said. “Are we using the best solutions in supplies? This is where my clinical experience comes in, because I can understand that some supplies may be cheaper but not actually a better value in the long run.” He also said it has helped in reviewing the number of items they order so they don’t overstock, and analyze items within packs so they can adjust as needed. “Hybrent has afforded me more time to do that and to offer my C-suite more opportunities for saving money.”
Even better, Danny has been able to use the time he’s saved from ordering supplies to mentor others. “For a business to truly succeed, you need to make sure people are trained properly. I’ve never been afraid to be replaced,” he joked. “My job is to make you better than me!” It also allows him to be more present at the other surgical center, where a surgical tech shares the ordering duties. “She wonders why we didn’t implement Hybrent sooner!”
Danny adds, “I cannot emphasize this enough, but having a good vendor rep is essential. A good rep makes all the difference and that is why we continue to work with Medline. When I started this job and they were working with another vendor here, I knew I would get Medline in because their support is so superior.”
And as for Hybrent? “You guys have a great product, a tremendous product, and I’ve suggested you to some of my colleagues throughout the country!”