Standards and Expectations
Our vendors must comply with laws and regulations, abide by our business practices and meet our cost, quality, safety and satisfaction standards. We evaluate their performance annually on approximately 30 criteria, including cost, quality, responsiveness and assurance of supply, and steps to reduce environmental and social impacts. If improvements are needed, we help create action plans. If we see little change in resolving issues, we may terminate a contract.
Our for-profit subsidiary, OnHand, powered by Texas Health Supply Chain Services, helps non-acute care providers and smaller organizations make their supply chains more efficient, affordable and reliable. Participants receive access to Texas Health’s discounted purchasing contracts, robust materials management information system and operational expertise.
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Texas Health is committed to providing caregivers with the resources they need to protect themselves while safely caring for patients. In a pandemic, when global competition for personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gowns and ventilators was fierce, Texas Health worked nonstop to make sure we had adequate supplies across the system.
Our Supply Chain Management teams continuously monitor Texas Health's inventory and engage suppliers and local manufacturers to prepare for surges proactively. They also keep a close eye on materials needed to provide ongoing care for thousands of others who need surgery, emergency care, baby delivery or other treatment.
We could prepare sooner than other systems across the country because of our relationships with various PPE manufacturers and importers. We also applied lessons learned from experiences with other global health crises and quickly took control of the supply chain in key areas. This helps us respond to imminent challenges and mitigate future risks.
Our relationship with Premier, a group purchasing organization, allowed us to invest in domestic mask and isolation gown manufacturing. These strategic investments are part of our overall plan to source critical supplies locally or in the U.S.
"Our strong finances going into the pandemic allowed us to purchase all the supplies we could source, including PPE for front-line caregivers," said Shaun Clinton, senior vice president of Supply Chain Management. "We also received CARES Act funding, which was made available by the federal government for hospitals and systems to help weather the pandemic. But we did not need to take advantage of other federal funding relief resources."
Throughout the year, Texas Health’s clinical leaders worked closely with Supply Chain Management to forecast the system’s supply needs. We developed a dashboard that incorporated near real-time data to monitor inventory fluctuations, which proved invaluable for determining the impact of various clinical decisions on our stock and consumption rate. This allowed us to monitor immediate needs and respond almost in real-time to protect our caregivers and patients.
COVID-19 exposed the fragility of the healthcare supply chain. Still, our prior experiences and a firm commitment to various domestic partners allowed us to manage and perform at the highest levels throughout surges.