Ballad Health formed in February 2018 as a result of a merger between two regional health systems, Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance. Combining these two entities, which had been long-time competitors, was a complicated process that involved integrating different vendors, operations styles and company cultures. “It was especially challenging trying to merge the methods each health system used to order parts and handle repairs,” said Charlie Verzi, Corporate Director of Healthcare Technology, Ballad Health. “Not only did each health system’s clinical engineering team use a different vendor, but their approaches to ordering parts differed greatly and weren’t streamlined. It was highly inefficient.”
By mid-2019, at the height of the merger, Ballad Health was only given around four months to bring all parts ordering in-house and create one fully integrated, seamless parts ordering process. Ballad Health did not have a huge pool of employees in supporting or management positions. In fact, the health system had no call center or dedicated purchasing staff. Instead, Verzi and his clinical engineering team were responsible for sourcing parts, which took away from the time the clinical engineering team was supposed to spend focusing on servicing equipment to keep it operational for patient care.
Verzi also found himself inefficiently having to manually approve hundreds of invoices per month. For someone tasked with overseeing a very large and complex merger, this extra work was a heavy lift. “As a leader, I did not want to manage supply chain,” Verzi said. “I did not want to manage orders. I needed to focus my attention and my efforts on helping the merger.”
“PartsSource allowed me to focus on my team, the merger and the databases, and not have to worry about invoices, sourcing or purchasing. The PartsSource team really did deliver everything they promised.”Charlie Verzi Corporate Director of Healthcare Technology
Ballad Health initially looked at their existing supply chain solution to see if that was an option for efficient purchasing and ordering going forward. This solution had a challenge retrieving data or other results-driven reports. Post-merger, the landscape was no easier. The supply chain department was embarking on a major project that was going to take up quite a bit of time. Plus, it was determined that Ballad Health would have to hire three full-time purchasing agents to achieve their goals.
While exploring options to support their clinical engineering teams operations, Ballad Health decided to look into clinical resource management platforms and came across PartsSource Pro. The managed service model combines cloud-based data science, best practices, and logistical support to drive evidence-based decision making for parts and services procurement. With PartsSource Pro, the entire process is streamlined: health systems issue a purchase order at the start of the service process, and then PartsSource takes care of the invoices on their end.
In addition to reducing workloads, Ballad Health also wanted any solution to be easy for employees to use and integrate into their daily workflow. “For me, it was about, does it deliver for my team?” Verzi said. “Is it seamless? Do they get their quotes back on time? Do they get their parts on time? Can they track their orders? That was always an issue: They would have to call a purchasing agent to find out where orders were. There were always delays in getting information.”
Ballad Health liked that PartsSource Pro solved all these pain points and was a “one-stop-shop” for their parts needs, Verzi said. Additionally, Ballad Health appreciated that the PartsSource platform was compatible with their existing CMMS system and ensured the health system didn’t need to hire additional employees.
“We felt PartsSource was a better solution for our challenges,” Verzi said. “We would have one single portal and one vendor to work with. The invoicing would be greatly streamlined, which our accounting people really liked. The purchasing people liked it, because they took the majority of the burden off of them.”
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In October of 2019, Ballad Health implemented PartsSource Pro. During the implementation process, PartsSource’s team first went from facility to facility educating technicians on the Pro platform, facilitating follow-up calls and meetings where necessary to help the Ballad team get up to speed.
“PartsSource allowed me to focus on my team, the merger and the databases, and not have to worry about invoices, sourcing or purchasing,” he said. “The PartsSource team really did deliver everything they promised.”
After the implementation process was complete Verzi was extremely pleased to see how much more efficiently his clinical engineering team was working. They no longer had to juggle invoices and orders themselves; instead, PartsSource handled these aspects.
“PartsSource allowed me to spend my time where I needed it,” Verzi said. “They saved me my time. They saved my technicians’ time.” Having access to the PartsSource catalog also helped the Ballad team standardize orders across the entire hospital system.
“At this point in time, the last time I measured it, approximately 96% of all of our orders now go to PartsSource,” Verzi said. “Every month, when I review the budgets and our orders, the orders are on half a page, instead of five to 10 pages of different orders, different vendors, different line items.”
For Verzi, not having to be responsible for so many day-to-day tasks or potential challenges freed him up to focus on the important strategic work he was doing concerning Ballad Health’s merger. “That was a great burden lifted off of my shoulders,” he said. “It allowed me to focus my efforts and my attention to the operation side, where I really didn’t have to worry about the supply side.”
Today, Ballad Health is a thriving health system with 21 hospitals, post-acute care and behavioral health services, and a large multi-specialty group physician practice. PartsSource PRO remains an integral part of their parts and equipment procurement process.
“PartsSource delivered a seamless integration. The Pro platform integrated smoothly with our CMMS system and this worked from day one, creating increased efficiencies. In addition, the PartsSource implementation team did a great job educating our technicians on how to use the platform.”Charlie Verzi Corporate Director of Healthcare Technology