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I1 – Engaging Suppliers to Meet Sustainability Goals

Music Row 3

Engaging suppliers to bring value above cost savings is an integral step to meeting system sustainability goals in any organization. This session will discuss how Dignity Health sets goals and engages supplier partners to enhance our sustainability agenda.

Dignity Health’s mission includes a focus on “partnering with others in the community to improve the quality of life.” Quality of Life is defined as the standard of health, comfort and happiness experienced by an individual or group. Dignity Health’s sustainability goals are rooted in helping create and maintain a Quality of Life provided by decreasing our environmental footprint, recycling, providing healthy, locally sourced nutritional options, and positively impacting our physical environment. Many of Dignity Health’s sustainability goals are created and managed by supply chain. It is important to balance these goals along with our primary function of contracted savings. Dignity Health leadership support paired with a true team mentality with our vendor partners translates into great ideas for maintaining and growing a successful sustainability program.

Sustainability goals are developed annually by reviewing the pipeline of contracts and identifying potential undiscovered opportunities or by enhancing current initiatives as a team (GPO, Dignity Health supply chain, suppliers, stakeholders).

As the team leader, Dignity Health Supply Chain strives to cultivate trust, transparency, and humility to develop a successful sustainability program. The team members meet with vendor partners often to review details of our programs, solicit suggestions for improvement, and garner new ideas about sustainability. There is a willingness to try anything, which continues to encourage engagement. The team also includes hospital stakeholders, suppliers, and GPO representatives – all who bring their own level of expertise and increase system-wide participation.

As one of our best sustainability partners, Stryker Sustainability Solutions has adjusted their own expectations based on what we’ve learned together. Sharing what they consider best practices for healthcare facilities helped us grow with them and be a better team leader.Creating sustainability goals and bringing together an engaged team is only part of our process. Establishing valuable data points allows both parties to speak to our joint successes and further enhance commitment by showing exactly how our goals are realized and how to improve in the long term. Reporting is the most important tool for us to understand a program’s viability. It takes more than supplier sales projections and SKU utilization; it requires a full overview of the landscape to ensure the goal is truly met. This includes reviewing the utilization of competitive supplier products, clinical work-arounds, and other efforts that may impact success. It also means reporting on local facility engagement, education opportunities, and failures.

Sustainable procurement