by Susan Cantrell, ELS

August 2011 Issue

St. Joseph Health System grows its reprocessing program through a custom supply chain solution and a dose of healthy competition.

The St. Joseph Health System in California and West Texas was facing challenges familiar to many healthcare networks: How to solve the problem of high supply costs without sacrificing rigorous standards of care and service. Jim McManus, SJHS’s vice president of finance and supply chain strategies, though a longtime supporter of using FDA-regulated third-party reprocessed medical devices as a way to reap both cost and environmental benefits, couldn’t shake the feeling that there were more savings to be had…

…SJHS is not alone. Reprocessing programs are employed by more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals as a solution for addressing medical, economic and environmental responsibilities. Reprocessed devices are approximately half the cost of single-use OEM devices. Hospitals not only reduce purchasing costs by implementing reprocessing programs, but they also save money that would be spent on special handling and waste management of single-use devices were they discarded into the waste stream without further re-use. The cost savings can add up quickly, but reprocessing programs need to be managed from a strategic supply chain perspective in order to maximize the potential.

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