Know who's across the table, says Florida system supply leader

It's rare for a hospital or health system to constantly win the ECRI Institute's supply excellence award — between 2022 and 2023, only four systems made both lists. Jackson Health System in Miami has won thrice since 2020. 

Chief Procurement Officer Rosa Costanzo pointed to a few factors as a reason for the success, including a strong team of about 45 strategic sourcing and procurement employees, involving clinical staff into the supply chain process, reducing clinical variation, and ensuring the best life-cycle costs. 

Jackson Health's supply team, which employs about 165 people, also armors itself with knowledge on the medical device and supply manufacturers across the negotiation table. 

"When procurement strategic sourcing sits at the negotiation table, one of the challenges is that your vendor usually knows more about you than you do, in some cases," Ms. Costanzo told Becker's. "The worst thing is [when] they know a lot about us and we don't know much about how they've been doing."

Ms. Costanzo, whose title is also senior vice president for strategic sourcing and supply chain management, said a "tremendous amount" of market research is needed for smart negotiations so both parties are winners. 

"We obviously think beyond the price of the product," she said, adding that it's important to know a medical supply company's market share, history of recalls and other industry reports. For example, a company's infusion pump might be the cheapest among its competitors, but if it has a long list of recalls, the buyer risks its quality and outcomes, she said. 

In those discussions, Jackson Health also leverages its status as an academic center that trains about 1,000 physicians every year. Since a portion of those physicians are likely to continue their careers at other healthcare organizations, Ms. Costanzo said she presents the trend to vendors as an investment because those device preferences can extend further than Jackson Health. 

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