2014 JQS Award Nominee, JQS2014

UCSF Medical Center & UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital


UCSF Medical Center has been very forward thinking in developing tools to better automate our manual processes, thus allowing our professionals more time to focus on patient care. This has entailed purchase order benchmarking with ECRI, Code Cart Standardization and QC, the procurement of a brand new Hill Rom Bed Fleet (which has produced a dramatic reduction in pressure ulcers) and the implementation of Hovermatt Pumps and transfer surfaces for patient transfer.

Our purchase order creation was a manual and convoluted process. As a result of partnering with GHX and Fedex, our purchase orders are now generated automatically by unit level ambassadors with a order receipt time of 12-15 minutes from the time of a PAR request. The vendor will then see the order and ship to us based on our account set up: For crucial items vendors use our Fedex Account to ship overnight, resulting in clinicians having the product in less than 24 hours. They can care for our patients faster and more efficiently, resulting in enhanced and predictable care.

All of these initiatives have reduced costs and and allowed us to redirect funds to areas of need involving direct patient care, in turn making the patient experience at UCSF safer and more comfortable.


Our systems changes have been dramatic and innovative and, as a result, the patient care we provide has been streamlined and made more transparent and efficient.

We were encountering delays in receiving product as a result of cumbersome and antiquated supply chain processes. This resulted in delays for clinicians receiving product, and thus negatively impacted patient care.

To cull this, we enabled EDI connections with over 400 vendors which allowed purchase orders to be generated automatically, received by the vendor automatically and then shipped according to product importance and end user desire. The end result was 98% percent purchase order and receipt automation and our supplies could be delivered right up to the unit, bypassing receiving. End users and clinicians had the product when needed and our patients never had to wait to receive care.

Our patients have greatly benefited from our ability to streamline the care we provide. Our code carts were many in number and tough to manage. As a result of a substantial EOC initiative (Environment of Care) coordinated with nursing, we simplified our code carts resulting in three types: Adult, Pedi, Neonatal. These carts are identifiable by color and easily refilled by both Material Services and Pharmacy, resulting in a turnaround time of less than an hour after a code is called on a unit.

Patient transfer injuries were at alarming levels, thus we implemented hovermatt transfer devices in all applicable rooms. Each unit received a blower and our material services ambassadors stock each size of transfer device to be placed underneath a patient upon admittance. When an ambassador orders a matt, the PO is generated automatically, the vendor receives in 12-15 minutes, and the item is received the following morning. Our automated supply chain ensures patients have the right equipment at the right time and at the right time, and injuries have been dramatically reduced.


In automating a lot of our supply chain systems, our technicians can now spend time on other initiatives that benefit patient care. Our supply chain currently sits at 98% automation, thus our labor resources have been reallocated to other areas of need, including patient transportation and unit-ready floor stock. With our supply chain nearly fully automated, we can now focus on caring for patients.

We ensure our clinicians and health care providers have the right product at the right price at the right time. It’s a seamless process for our patients. As a result of our systems change, GHX (Global Healthcare Exchange) recently recognized us as an Industry Impact Provider and ECRI named us a “Top User” of their benchmarking and cost-savings tools.


Jake Limbert UCSF Medical Center is recognized throughout the world for innovative patient care, advanced technology and pioneering research. It has two main campuses, the 600-bed main hospital and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Parnassus, and UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion which is a hub of specialized clinics and surgery services. UCSF is one of the nation's top 10 hospitals, according to an annual survey by U.S. News & World Report.

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