This month’s updates on the BEST Initiatives focus on the Pharmacy workstream, led by Diana Thamrin, and the Supply Chain workstream stream, led by Doug Johnson.  Additional details can be found in the 6/1 Leadership Desktop Chat on the intranet.


The Pharmacy team has been excited to continue looking at reducing costs and increasing revenues for the system as part of the BEST Initiatives.  This is particularly important for the organization because pharmaceutical expenditures are one of the highest areas for AHS.  For example, medications alone have around $30M annual budget across the system.

  • Containing Costs
    • Reviewed several different areas with a goal of utilizing medications in a safe, efficacious way, while adhering to best practices, and keeping costs as contained as possible
    • Through past work on system standardization, the established committees and forums have allowed AHS to increase speed of initiative implementation and realize savings ahead of schedule
    • Savings to date have been between $300K-$350K annually
    • Strong partnerships with Critical Care teams, Anesthesia teams, and site leaders have played an influential role in realizing this cost savings success
  • Increasing Revenues
    • In the process of expanding our 340B participation, which is a Federal Program which requires drug manufactures to provide outpatient drug at a discounted price to facilities who provide care for underserved populations.
    • Participation in 340B saves AHS approximately $20M annually and allows the internal pharmacy at Highland to be profitable.
    • Expansion efforts involve partnerships with select external pharmacies in what is commonly known as a “contract pharmacy” relationship.

Supply Chain:

The Supply Chain workstream is currently nine months into a twelve-month project focused on reducing costs and creating a sustainable environment to build upon changes and identify future opportunities.  A core team was created comprised of supply chain team members, clinicians, and department end users.  This team focused on two main areas:  Clinical Supplies and Purchased Services.

  • Clinical Supplies
    • Focused on price negotiations, utilization controls, and sourcing strategies
    • Have achieved $1.86M of the estimated $2.18M in savings from these initiatives
    • Key savings have occurred in spinal implants, coronary and cardiac rhythm products, and linens utilization through strategic relationship development with suppliers
  • Purchased Services
    • Also focused on price and contracting negotiations
    • Timeframe for purchased services contract negotiations tends to be longer, but we expect to realize $2.3M-$3.6M in savings

Thank you to the Pharmacy team, Supply Chain team, and all of the clinical departments that have contributed to the success of these initiatives.  Your work has really impacted the financial stability of our health system, and in turn, supported our mission to serve our patients and community.