Leslie Thomas

Director of Supply Chain Information Systems, Prisma Health

Supernova Award Category: 

Tech Optimization and Modernization

The Organization: 

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. The organization has nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 outpatient sites. With nearly 2,000 physicians, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of the state. Formed by the merger of Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health, Prisma deployed Workday to unify finance, HR, and supply chain operations in the cloud across the enterprise. Prisma’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals.

The Problem: 

Prisma Health requires accurate, up-to-date product information to order and replenish the medical and surgical products used to treat their patients. With constant changes and multiple sources of data, keeping the item master clean is arduous.

In healthcare, the item master contains all the information about each inventory item. It is the foundation for reducing risk to patient safety, improving patient outcomes, and decreasing supply expenses. An error in the item master can cause stock outs or supply waste or cost overruns, impacting the cost of care and quality of patient experience. Having staff manage and update product information using spreadsheets is expensive and difficult to scale, considering the volume of data and the risk of manual error.

Without an automated approach, fixing one inaccuracy takes approximately 25 minutes per SKU at an estimated cost of $7.61 per error. The average hospital item master data contains 80,000-100,000 SKUs, making the impact of spreading the wrong information, and then fixing it, costly and time consuming. As healthcare moves business functions to the cloud, a reliable data foundation is critical to power other workflows. With hospitals facing between $53B-$122B in losses due to lingering effects of COVID-19 and pressure to accelerate digital transformation, a better solution is needed.

The Solution: 

Given the scale and complexity of their supply chain, Prisma required a solution to automatically cleanse, validate, and unify item master data at scale. Prisma chose Workday to automate their supply chain management (along with financial management and HCM) and GHX to ensure the ongoing accuracy of their item master. Partners were selected based on their deep understanding of healthcare and Prisma’s needs.

GHX offers a cloud-based data management and analytics solution that keeps supply chain data current and synchronized. GHX continuously cleans, enriches and standardizes data to feed accurate content into internal systems. As a virtual item master, GHX also monitors data for changes, updates and duplications to reduce transaction errors.

GHX developed a cohesive Workday-certified API-based integration and got the health system up and running within days (compared to weeks or months required to develop and implement a custom integration to a traditional on-prem ERP).

The Results: 

With GHX Data Connect, unified data is synchronized with Workday via APIs in a Workday-certified integration. This ensures accurate and up-to-date information is pushed from Workday to upstream and downstream systems. GHX extracts and combines data from a provider’s inputs in Workday (such as PO History and the Item Master) and matches and enriches the data with GHX’s Catalog consisting of millions of items. Updates are automatically reflected in Workday. ​This is critical to healthcare providers as the supply chain directly impacts patient care.

By using web services and standard, public APIs to accelerate and automate innovation in the cloud, Workday and GHX delivered a durable solution that persists across software updates with no need to re-code or re-implement. Workday’s rigorous Software Partner Program requires customers to validate the solution integration before it can be awarded a Workday Certified badge. The result is immediate adoption and quick time to value. This contrasts with custom integrations which may take months to build and deploy, often break at release boundaries, do not carry over from on premise to cloud and cannot be extended to other customers without additional development.

Prisma Health can access real time data and see it alongside financials and people information. The interoperability between the systems is a huge benefit to healthcare IT and business users, saving time, reducing risk, and optimizing supply costs.

  • Remote access to secure system was critical for remote workers during COVID-19 and is valuable any time
  • Reduced manual cost to fix one inaccurate SKU from $7.61 to $1.50 on average, equating to ~$150K (with the potential for upwards of $350K, depending on non-item file updates) in estimated savings. Savings are anticipated to be close to 80% of the manual intervention that would have been required
  • Improved data accuracy and standardization across the organization, resulting in cost savings from reduced errors, better contract alignment and order efficiency
  • Reduced manual work resulting in weekly time savings of at least 50% which frees Prisma’s team to focus on more value-added work such as variation reduction, supplier diversity, cost-savings and patient care initiatives
  • Shorter implementation cycle by 20-30%
  • Minimized maintenance overhead by 90% compared to an on premise solution
  • Automatically pulls information on purchases and pushes updates, resulting in seamless flow of data without significant human interaction while keeping local item master in sync with changes
  • Seamless integration delivers up-to-date fully enriched item data in end-to-end supply chain
  • Increased accuracy in purchasing history and contract management system
  • Improved relationships between supply chain and clinical teams
  • Maximized reimbursement
The Technology: 

GHX’s cloud-based data management and analytics platform continuously cleans, enriches and standardizes supply chain data to feed accurate content to internal systems. A virtual item master, it monitors data for changes, updates and duplications to reduce transaction errors. Workday is an enterprise management cloud – a SaaS alternative to ERP for managing finance, HR, supply chain, analytics, and planning, with an intelligent data core and business-first approach to empower users.

Disruptive Factor: 

The combined GHX/Workday cloud-based solution is new, addressing a long-time pain point for health systems with an off-the-shelf integration. There is healthy skepticism around ERP in healthcare regarding the effort vs value of system integrations. GHX/Workday proved the integration works and the project went live within 30 days – a fraction of the time for similar integrations.

Unlike other extensions built on public APIs, Workday partner integrations go through a rigorous process that includes customer involvement to validate the value, industry-specific utility, and functional readiness. As a standard Workday integration, the set-up is simple on Prisma’s end and completed within minutes. Users simply log on to a dashboard to access information via the secure Workday tenant. The automated GHX/Workday solution allows Prisma Heath to pull data more easily and quickly, in large volumes, whenever needed. This replaces the countless hours spent manually managing complex supply chain data with the industry’s most accurate item data model for the cloud, saving approximately 50% of time each week. Along with providing a consistent and accurate view of information across Prisma Health’s entire healthcare system, the company’s smaller, acquired facilities can quickly take advantage of being part of Prisma Health for contract negotiations and the pricing benefits associated with a larger organization.

Shining Moment: 

The GHX/Workday solution brings value to the entire healthcare industry. As evidenced by Prisma’s success, other healthcare providers including Adventist and Southeast Health are lining up to adopt this integration. The ability to quickly deliver value underscores the value of a cloud replacement for ERP which enables healthcare providers to gain efficiencies and use data for faster, more cost effective and prudent decisions. This will have a positive, ripple effect on patient care.

About Prisma Health

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 acute and specialty hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 outpatient sites with nearly 2,000 physicians, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina.