Bon Secours Mercy Health, a 7-state health system, has deployed a custom version of the OpenMarkets platform as an equipment formulary to connect over 5,000 users with the right supplier for the right product at the right time.
Prior to OpenMarkets, purchasing equipment was all-too-often a fractured process at each of the 50 hospitals across the Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) system. When an administrator needed a quote for medical equipment—whether it was an ultrasound machine or a patient bed—the search process was an individualized experience. Some admins might begin by calling a past supplier. Others might email a manufacturer to inquire about a new equipment technology. In either case, individual purchasing decisions were not communicated and aligned with the greater health system until a buy order was needed. At that point, if an admin placed an order with an off-contract supplier, a manual compliance effort would kick in—sending back orders, necessitating a new search, and forcing the process to start over. To solve for such wasted efforts and to improve supplier relations, BSMH built an equipment formulary inside the OpenMarkets Exchange platform to be the organization's single-source-of-truth for approved equipment products and suppliers.
The Solution: OpenMarkets Exchange
Previously, administrators at hospitals across seven states had to research what products they should buy via Google, trade shows, and various and often random conversations to figure out what equipment they could or should purchase. Now, this same research begins in an approved marketplace, where contracted suppliers list equipment that is compliant with obligations across the system’s 50 hospitals. BSMH incorporated the OpenMarkets Exchange, branded locally as the eQuipConnect platform, as a required step in their capital budgeting process, and the platform is integrated with their Strata capital budgeting system—further insulating and supporting its local contracts and making it next-to-impossible for someone to buy the wrong equipment.
In the first year, the BSMH formulary on the OpenMarkets Exchange has grown to feature 5,845 end-users and 21 equipment suppliers. The Exchange has been a huge efficiency gain across the system. The platform has enabled end-users simple access to equipment standards and decreased time to order, while also providing real-time insight into quoting activity across the system. Perhaps most importantly, given the cost involved in purchasing decisions, Exchange has implemented purchasing controls where there had previously been none. This has dramatically decreased—and in many cases eliminated—frustrating contract leakage for equipment suppliers. As an example, one major distributor eliminated $1.2 million in sales leakage, since BSMH now buys all their products, whereas prior to Exchange orders were lost to off-contract competition.
“It’s incredible how much smoother our processes have become since the OpenMarkets integration. And on a personal level, my job has just been that much easier. With the controls in place, there’s so much less back-and-forth between our capital planning team and hospital staff. And it’s helped us to be a better partner to our Suppliers by focusing on them and not the wrong folks or products. Across the BSMH system, we now have the clarity that empowers individual hospital teams to purchase the right equipment from the right suppliers at the right time. The savings in process churn and equipment cost have been astounding.”
— Michelle M. Wall, System Director Capital Planning at Bon Secours Mercy Health
Because of OpenMarkets Bon Secours:
- Aligned purchasing across 5,000+ users.
- Controlled list of approved suppliers.
- Brought orders into compliance with contracts.
- Gained efficiencies in ordering processes.
- Provided real-time insights into quoting activity.
Bon Secours Mercy Health isn’t the only health system building a custom equipment formulary with OpenMarkets. In the coming months, Yale New Haven and Aspirus will also customize its OpenMarkets’ platforms to serve as equipment formularies.
Learn more about how OpenMarkets assists health systems to streamline the capital planning process by requesting more information here.