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Leader of The Resource Group Discusses Critical Role of Listening

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July 22, 2017 by

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Listening is important as providers move from volume- to value-based care, according to Scott Caldwell, President and CEO, The Resource Group, part of Ascension's Solutions Division, who spoke recently at Modern Healthcare's "Healthcare Transformation Summit: Partnering for Success" in Atlanta.

For the healthcare industry to successfully transition from volume- to value-based care, providers and suppliers must work together in more effective ways, he said. Scott discussed the role of supply chain during this transition, explaining how The Resource Group took a transformative approach to resource and supply management that has allowed it to deliver over $900 million in annual savings to Ascension, savings that can be applied to the Ascension Mission of serving all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable.

"For us, it was about turning away from looking out toward the receiving dock and constantly receiving product or operating a warehouse, and turning inward to face the caregiver and focus on what they need. Having a warehouse doesn't improve patient care or satisfaction," Scott said. "An effective, efficient supply chain runs silently in the background on behalf of the end-user."

Scott joined fellow presenters Dr. Robert Nesse, Senior Medical Adviser for Payment Reform to the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors, and Gayle Capozzalo, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Yale New Haven Health for the panel "Inside the Healthcare C-Suite: What Senior Executives Seek in Their Pursuit of Value-Based Care."

"A critical component of successful relationships between healthcare systems and suppliers is listening," Scott said. "At The Resource Group, listening to the end-user is vital, and stressed continually. To enhance its ability to hear questions and concerns from end-users, The Resource Group even created a mobile application called "Listen First®" that allows associates to easily share concerns with The Resource Group, with the promise of a 24-hour turnaround."

Scott said that as important as it is for The Resource Group to listen and respond to its customers, successful supplier relationships also involve significant listening to understand and respond to challenges or business needs.

Scott used the example of the creation of TouchPoint Support Services to showcase how a supplier listened to The Resource Group's issues in managing food and nutritional services and environmental services and provided an integrated solution that resolved these issues. Even with nine months of seeking and reviewing proposals, he said, the final decision to work with Compass, the parent company of TouchPoint, was not just about savings, but also about the company's willingness to work with Ascension in the way Ascension needed.

"It came down to a supplier understanding our needs and asking us how we wanted to do things," Scott said. "It didn't matter that this wasn't how things were done in the industry."

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