Monday, August 26, 2013

Postcards from the Road... Nash in Nashville Edition

The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is one of the largest indoor facilities – with restaurants, gardens, and ballrooms – in the United States. It was the appropriate setting for the annual HealthTrust University Conference and Vendor Fair, sponsored by the HealthTrust Purchasing Group in suburban Nashville, TN.

I had the privilege of delivering the plenary talk immediately after the charismatic CEO of the company, Mr. Ed Jones, welcomed everyone. The 3,700 assembled supply chain leaders, financial directors, pharmacy managers and others from around the country, were an enthusiastic audience. I strongly believe that hospital and delivery system based supply chain leaders are going to play an increasingly important role in health reform.  After all, they do the bulk of the purchasing and they are on the “firing line” having to demonstrate value for the money being spent.

By becoming more efficient, by demonstrating value, by cutting waste, supply chain leaders are going to play a key role in making the HCA work. I implored the audience to invest in leadership training for clinicians of all types, especially physicians, nurses and pharmacists, as these clinical leaders make most of the decisions about supply chain purchases. The executive leadership team of HealthTrust – Mike Berryhill, John Paul, Gary Pack and Doug Swanson – seemed like a group that “gets it!”

Following my formal remarks, Ed Jones and I engaged in a question and answer session in front of all of the attendees. We reinforced the need to reduce waste and to prepare for moving from a world of volume to value. Were the leaders of your supply chain lucky enough to be in the Opryland Resort and Convention Center? You should save the dates for next year, July 28-30, 2014, also at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Finally, special thanks to the outstanding sponsors who helped to make the conference a possibility, including Astellas, Elekta, and a score of others.

“Nash in Nashville” – it does have a certain ring doesn’t it?