SMI Ramps Up Initiative Activity

Scituate, MA (January 30, 2006):  Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI) recently announced the appointment of Dennis P. Orthman as SMI Initiative Project Manager. Reporting to Tom Hughes the Executive Director of SMI, Orthman will be responsible for the ongoing support and coordination of SMI member-led initiatives. His role includes research, analysis, and coordination of SMI initiative team activities. Dennis has served as a consultant to the healthcare supply chain marketplace for over ten years, and brings us over 25 years of industry experience. 

Prior to joining SMI, Dennis served as Principal Consultant with BD Healthcare Consulting and Services, where he worked with healthcare clients around the country to streamline their internal supply chain operations. In his career as a healthcare supply chain consultant, Orthman served in leadership roles as a Director for VHA Improvement Services and as a Senior Consultant for Concepts In Healthcare. At the provider level, Orthman began his supply chain career at Boston City Hospital and also served in operational leadership at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, and at the corporate level for Partners Healthcare System with the focus on system contracting and supply utilization. Throughout his career, Dennis has contributed to industry publications, managed multifaceted million dollar projects, facilitated senior management initiatives, implemented new systems and processes, and successfully delivered positive results for his clients.

Dennis is a member of AHRMM, a past board member of HCMMS, and remains an active member in many different local community associations and charities.

"Dennis will serve a pivotal role with SMI initiatives," explains Tom Hughes. "There are several projects in the works which he will oversee, bringing definitive results to the market within the next six to twelve months."

There are currently six different SMI teams working on industry initiatives supported by Dennis as described below:

Contract Synchronization
This team is working to create a new business model of collaborative data management processes aligned to reduce waste and overall expenses within the healthcare supply chain. 

The Team is examining the contract data loading process, with the goal of establishing a standardized process for correct contract data loading by all necessary parties by the appropriate designated effective date. Live pilot studies are being conducted for direct and distribution models. 

Perfect Order
This team is working to develop and implement a new management tool and metric for the healthcare supply chain... "Percentage of Perfect Orders." The team is exploring other industries for best practices and processes to emulate. With the creation of this tool, the team hopes to reduce operational expenses associated with today's inefficient and time-consuming order-to-payment process. They have defined appropriate measurable elements within the supply chain that constitute a "perfect order." Methodologies for measurement have been established and a pilot implementation program is underway to further refine the process and measure the benefits to all trading partners.

HIN or GLN? That is the question that this team is working to answer so that healthcare can achieve a standardized identifier for providers, manufacturers and distributors in the efforts to increase efficiencies and drive down supply chain expenses. The initiative team is working to conduct a thorough evaluation of the pros and cons of all options available, determining and understanding the various issues with the goal of identifying the best single standard for all trading partners. 

Access Guidelines
This SMI team is addressing the inconsistency of practices among healthcare facilities and suppliers regarding vendor access. These inconsistent practices can lead to potential liability concerns and health and safety issues. The goals of this team are to examine regulatory requirements, search for best practices, and to establish a standardized partner access guideline, outlining minimum requirements that will ensure the health and safety of patients, partners and healthcare facility employees.

Measuring Effective Relationships
Organizations across the country have separately developed programs that measure the value and effectiveness of their business relationships. This initiative team is reviewing existing programs with the goal of creating a best practice that can be used by all supply chain stakeholders to measure and improve their collaborative effectiveness. The SMI team seeks to develop a flexible approach that can be used by all trading partners based on a common platform to define and measure the tangible and intangible benefits to the healthcare supply chain.

Supply Chain Opportunity Overview
This SMI team is working to identify key components, strategies, and values of the supply chain to guide and recommend future SMI initiatives, allowing all SMI Initiatives to be addressed and discussed in a unifying context and the value of the individual initiatives to be collectively defined. The team is mapping where providers and suppliers intersect, identifying significant cost drivers at each key intersection, and evaluating the value and opportunities that are present for future efforts. 

About SMI: SMI is a not-for-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to improving the healthcare supply chain through direct interaction and collaboration among senior healthcare supply chain executives. The group will grow to no more than 40 IDNs and 40 Partners including manufacturers, distributors and service providers. SMI has been formed to influence, shape, and advance the future of the healthcare marketplace.

For more information on SMI contact Tom Hughes, Executive Director for SMI, at [email protected] or [email protected].