New HealthTrust platforms aim to make supply management more convenient & efficient
HealthTrust is rolling out several new technology platforms that will make it easier for acute and non-acute care members to evaluate and purchase products, and for suppliers to manage data.
Marketplace is a new portal for physician offices, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and corporations that don’t use a company purchasing platform. For many smaller physician offices and ASCs, the person responsible for purchasing medical products and supplies is often the office administrator who is without the time or experience to effectively use the corporate purchasing platform. “We identified two problems to solve for these segments of our membership,” says Michael Tempora, AVP of Product Management, HealthTrust. “The first is that purchasing products is inconvenient because users must go to multiple websites to make purchases across multiple categories. The second is that they don’t generally know whether or not they’re getting the savings benefits from their group purchasing organization (GPO) contracts when shopping.”
Marketplace aims to solve both problems for customers. It is a one-stop shopping platform that enables members to maximize the value of their GPO relationship by conveniently purchasing products from multiple suppliers, while realizing GPO-negotiated cost savings. The online shopping site has several benefits:
- Time savings: Members can purchase from multiple suppliers on one platform, covering categories that include medical/surgical supplies, office supplies, computing equipment, vaccines, and maintenance, repair and operations.
- Cost savings: Members can easily identify on-contract products at the best price.
- Better management: Users can easily track all purchase order information for multiple suppliers in one place.
- Convenience: The tool has built-in approval steps and order guides that allow for better oversight of a team’s supply purchases.
- Options: Marketplace allows users to identify best-priced alternatives when a product is out of stock.
“Small businesses can now benefit from the same sort of value that larger companies are used to receiving, and they have the same ease and convenience of shopping,” explains Tempora.
Nearly two years in the making, Marketplace covers the majority of average spend volume for physician offices, ASCs and corporations in a single purchasing platform, which currently includes suppliers like Staples, Medline, CDW, Grainger and VaxServe. HealthTrust will continually add suppliers and categories to Marketplace as the platform is rolled out.
Member Experience portal
HealthTrust offers members in acute care facilities a host of services and products, including tools to connect them to information about new items, issues, analytics and savings opportunities. The challenge was that these things all “lived” in separate silos.
“As a member, you would need to visit 10 different places online to find the information and use it to your benefit,” says Dani DePoy, Associate Product Manager of Customer Solutions, HealthTrust. “We wanted to do a better job of getting the information to our members and create richer data to help them make better purchasing decisions.”
Member Experience is a new online portal that will take many of HealthTrust’s tools and services and connect them more fluidly. The platform displays data, including both contract and item information, and links them together more succinctly. Members can cross-reference items and take advantage of and connect analytics offerings to what they’re eligible for. When the technology solution launches in the summer of 2022, the current Member Portal will be retired. “What we’ve built now is a true dashboard that brings tools together,” says DePoy.
The three biggest benefits of Member Experience are:
- Detailed views of all contract information a member is eligible for
- Enhanced visibility into items that fall under a contract, as well as pricing information in one place
- Search capabilities across all HealthTrust offerings and available cross-references
The new portal is a 21st-century solution for displaying the contents of HealthTrust’s offerings and enabling members to easily curate data so they can make good decisions. “We’re excited about bringing members enhanced visibility into the many benefits of membership,” explains DePoy.
The Member Experience team is focused on how members search for information, what information is important to them, what supplementary data is needed to make a decision and what data they want to save based on current spending behavior. “We are enabling a more informed course of action based on better sources of data,” DePoy adds.
A customer-driven approach is initiated by HealthTrust’s Technology Innovation team when it develops new products and services. Members are engaged early in the process to test-drive tools and share feedback, which is then incorporated into the service and product build. Member Experience was designed based on interviews, testing and communicating with members about their needs and how they’re making decisions. “We have the benefit of working directly with approximately 25 members who piloted the site and offered invaluable feedback to help us meet customers’ needs and solve problems along the way,” adds DePoy.
Abe Georges, Senior Financial Analyst at AllSpire Health GPO, serves on HealthTrust’s Analytics Board and participated in a pilot of Member Experience. “The new platform provides all the necessary contract information in a streamlined format without having to go to different sources,” he says. “This has improved the process to identify savings opportunities for our members.”
A feature Georges finds particularly useful is the ability to quickly search and filter applicable contract information by category. “Another new feature provides item cross-referencing options within Member Experience, which was a welcome surprise,” he adds.
Today, the Supplier Portal provides basic information and access to documents, but it has gaps in value. The new Supplier Portal is an entirely new experience for our supplier partners with a long-term vision to provide a one-stop-shop experience and service to our supplier community. While still early in its development, it is being designed to be a full-service hub for suppliers to come and exchange data with HealthTrust.
“The main problem we’re solving is that today, most of our supplier data exchanges are very manual and time consuming on both sides of the interaction,” says Bradley Hall, Associate Product Manager of Supplier Experience at HealthTrust. “For example, we ask suppliers for a huge bulk upload of cross-references every three years, which is a lot of work, and then over time that data deprecates, and members lose confidence in the data quality.” To solve for that, they are building a portal that enables suppliers to manage cross-reference requests more efficiently.
In addition to enabling suppliers to better manage their data, eventually the Supplier Portal will allow suppliers to get valuable information such as the status of a sourcing project and metrics that relate to the health of their relationship with HealthTrust, as well as gain access to the tools and resources they need in a more efficient manner with less dependency on “tribal knowledge.”
“Nearly all of the work HealthTrust does with suppliers is to create value for members, but we have to make it easier for suppliers to work with us, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” says Hall.
The pilot launched in the second quarter, and the platform will continue to evolve over the next several years as they make continual enhancements.
Suppliers can join the pilot group and share their feedback by contacting Bradley Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, stop by the IT Learning Lab in the Exhibit Hall during HTU on July 25 at 5 p.m.
Watch for the response newsletter for information on when the new Member Experience platform launches for all members. To ask questions or learn more, contact your HealthTrust Account Manager. Members of this team will be onsite at HTU with a new capabilities business session on July 25 at 3 p.m.Share Email