Case Study

Boston Medical Center x Symmetric Health Solutions

From March 2019 to July 2019, Symmetric used its software and data capabilities to implement the following projects at Boston Medical Center:

  1. Identifying procurement opportunities
  2. Saving time with a single source of truth
  3. Mitigating supplier risks
  4. Increasing reimbursements from the supply chain

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center (BMC) is a non-profit, 514-bed academic medical center. Located in the historic South End of Boston, Massachusetts, BMC provides medical care for infants, children, teens, and adults. It is the largest safety-net hospital and Level I trauma center in New England.


1. Identifying procurement opportunities

Challenge

The Health System had decided to transition to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but the existing contract management module was in a half-implemented state. The lack of a functional system made it difficult for procurement to keep track of spending under management and maintain contract files.

Solution

The Health System engaged with Symmetric to cleanse and master its disparate contract files. After cleansing, the health system loaded contracts and purchase orders to Symmetric to analyze a variety of opportunities.

Highlights

  • Identified $1M in pricing credits from contract/purchase order/invoice misalignments.
  • Mastered four data sources into one contract file.
  • Identified up to $2M in medical/surgical supplies standardization opportunities.

2. Saving time with a single source of truth

Challenge

The Health System was looking to explore point of use scanning of UDI-DI barcodes in procedural areas, but limited I.T. resources made it challenging to prioritize. Matching their item master to millions of GUDID UDI-DI records was not going to be a simple task to tackle.

Solution

The Health System used Symmetric Health Solutions’ match tool and medical device database to automatically map their item master, contracts, and purchase history to UDI-DIs. The Health System’s value analysis team was then able to compare products with one source of truth.

Highlights

  • 87% of the 60,000-record item master to UDI-DIs and interfaced to EHR in under a week.
  • Improved item and contract lines addition process while simplifying maintenance of files.
  • Achieved automatic identification of standardization opportunities.

Symmetric is on the cutting edge of standardizing data within healthcare.

Joseph D’Amore, MDM Manager, Boston Medical Center

3. Mitigating supplier risks

Challenge

The Health System was looking to get definitive answers to alternate suppliers during backorders. They were not getting the information they needed quickly enough from their current suppliers and distributors.

Solution

The Health System used Symmetric Health Solutions’ medical device and pharmaceutical databases and exploration tools to understand their supplier risks better.

Highlights

  • Assisted in resolving five backorders to date.
  • Building automated substitute list into ERP for future backorder resolution.
  • Identified over 1K recalled items purchased in the last year.

4. Increasing reimbursements from the supply chain

Challenge

The Health System was looking to expand its diversity supplier program. The expansion of a diverse supplier program would help the health system qualify for a higher insurance reimbursement tier, but it was spending too much time researching supplier certifications.

Solution

The Health System engaged with Symmetric to confirm their current diverse supplier list and, in the process, found areas of opportunity to improve supplies reimbursements.

Highlights

  • Validated diverse suppliers list and suggested vendor master updates in under a week.
  • Provided a target list of diverse suppliers to help rank future procurement efforts.
  • Identified $600K in missing supplies outpatient reimbursement from missing HCPCS.

It is my firm belief that many healthcare organizations would find Symmetric’s software and expertise extremely valuable. The collection of information they have built can dramatically impact an organization’s efficiencies and bottom line.

Joseph D’Amore, MDM Manager, Boston Medical Center


Updates as of November 2020

  • Successful implementation of Contract Management, transitioning from an On-Prem to a Cloud ERP solution (Lawson to Infor Cloudsuite), which included 600k+ GPO and Local contracted items matched to UDI-DIs.
  • Utilization of UDI-DI information and Symmetric associated data on Manufacturing locations, Manufacturers, and Suppliers to help BMC during 2020's COVID PPE supply research.
  • Standardization of Item Data informed by manufacturer submissions to global regulatory datasets like GUDID, on topics including Standard Item Descriptions, Item Manufacturers, and Label information.
  • Ongoing maintenance of providing packaging and duplicate UDI-DIs to Epic via an interface for the purposes of Clinical Documentation and Implant tracking.