2019 Provider Seat Candidate

Susan MorrisSusan Morris, CMRP, FAHRMM
Senior Director, Support Services
Fayette County Memorial Hospital
Washington Court House, OH

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Describe why you are a good candidate for this leadership role.

I have a passion for supply chain, feel that working in health care is a calling and am OCD about organizational efficiencies. For three years, I have been educating, advocating and participating in forums extoling the virtues and benefits of adopting Unique Device Identifiers (UDI) in health care. While there is much work to be done standardizing UDI’s to improve end user efficiencies, it's an improvement over manually documentation.

AHRMM started the Learning UDI Communities (LUC) where all the voices (regulatory, manufacturing, technology and providers) impacted by this topic learned from each other, worked to improve barcode standardization in health care and increase end user adoption. This is the kind of collaborative effort driving improvements in health care necessary to reduce costs and improve care.

In a previous role, onboarding process included a formal educational program providing new employees a deeper understanding of their job. I coordinated the program for our division with the education department and sought experts to provide meaningful content and feedback to enhance the program. Several individuals worked together to create the agenda, content and study materials. With each class, the content and format were fine tuned to continuously improve the student’s level of understanding. The students leaving our program, felt they were much better equipped than their peers in other divisions to manage the new projects.

Having recently returned to a supply chain leadership role in the provider space, there are multiple projects in the pipeline for which I have accountability. All these projects involve multi-functional teams. Coordinating these events and getting acceptance of all involved is a challenge. Several programs have fallen by the wayside, including the value analysis/new product evaluation process. One of the first steps has been to work with the supply chain team to get their input on how to build a successful program.

When the Chief of Surgery was asked to lead the team, he was excited and thrilled to be asked to participate. He sees waste and has a strong desire to make his department and the organization stronger by reviewing clinically evidence-based, quality products prior to investing valuable resources. The decision has been made to have a cross-functional team as standing committee members. An objective scoring process is being developed to provide a mechanism for determining which proposed items or processes will meet with approval. I believe my proven history of providing agile project development and relationship building with trading partners will be an asset I bring to the board.

I am passionate about health care and improving supply chain’s visibility. As a rural provider with experiences at large institutions, I have a unique perspective that allows me to see the broad picture. I am highly committed to making a difference by what I do and serving on this board would be an honor.

Describe where you see health care evolving, and what you see supply chain’s role being in those future models.

I believe health care is in the midst of a paradigm shift and one that is necessary for the survival of the U.S. health care system. Recent history has seen health care as a reactive process where we respond to an illness with a battery of tests and medications. More and more the expectation of government and commercial payers is to take a proactive approach to keep people out of the health care system. What is going to really drive that change in approach is when the general population also picks up that banner and we are seeing that beginning to happen.

Many employers are implementing wellness programs providing incentives to their employees to institute healthy practices into their daily life and to have regular wellness checks. The belief is the once a year physical assessment is less costly and will identify potential issues earlier to prevent more costly health care issues down the road. People are using wearable devices to track their steps, their sleep patterns and their caloric intake. Devices can also track your heartrate and send that data to your doctor among other innovative applications.

It isn’t just Millennials that have no interest in disrupting their day to sit in a doctor’s waiting room when they can have a video conference with a physician to assess their health concerns. Technology is going to be driving change in healthcare at an exponential pace. In addition to telemedicine, we are seeing increasing uses for artificial intelligence (AI). AI is assisting providers in identifying potential drug interactions. Other applications can identify potential medical conditions like sepsis enabling earlier treatment and more successful outcomes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is creating payment models based upon quality outcomes rather than the number of episodes of care. How do you determine if the outcome is a quality outcome? A tremendous amount of data has been entered in the electronic health record (EHR) systems since the passage of the Accountable Care Act (ACA). Providers, payers and regulators are now demanding that the EHR start providing useful information from all that data that has been collected over the last decade to drive intelligent decision making.

Retail establishments demanded a more efficient process for managing inventory and barcodes came into wide use in the 1970’s. Forty plus years later, health care is finally getting into the game. We are seeing the widespread integration of barcodes on health care supplies being utilized in inventory management, EHR documentation and procurement activities.

While technology has its risks with the growth of the cybersecurity industry but overall, technology is going to change how we look at health care, how we deliver health care and our patients use our services.

How will your leadership and vision strengthen AHRMM?

I said at the beginning I have a passion for supply chain. My career didn’t begin in health care, but it will end in health care. I thought about going into nursing school back in the day and after working in the registration department of my local hospital decided that was not the right path for me. However, I adore our patients – even the difficult ones. My husband (a RN) says I have more compassion than many of the nurses he worked with. So health care is a calling for me. My former employer’s mission is ‘health care is too important to stay the same’ and that is so true. It is also too important to fail.

Every dollar we save on the front end of the supply chain process goes straight to the bottom line for our organization. Many of us in supply chain feel we can’t effect the quality of care or the outcome of the patient. We couldn’t be more wrong. Developing partnerships with the clinical teams to make sure the products we provide are the best quality we can get and at the best price is contributing to that quality care and outcome. Helping our nursing colleagues understand the importance of monitoring their supply cabinets and crash carts for expired product to prevent harm from occurring is a vital role. Nurses may say they didn’t go to school to be supply technicians, but they also don’t want to cause patient harm. We can help them implement easy, quick visual ques and processes to reduce the chances of expired products being utilized.

Fewer physicians and nurses are afraid of technology like they were in 2009 when the ACA was passed, but the speed of technology is so fast it is difficult for any of us to keep up. Supply chain can be a catalyst for implementing technology to facilitate more efficient and accurate EHR documentation with tools like barcode scanning or RFID.

Yes, I have a passion for supply chain, but I have a passion for health care too. I want to leave it better than I found it. I want the United States health care system to be easier to navigate for my grandchildren than it is for my children. I want future generations to be healthier than my generation. This quote sums up my philosophy. ‘I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do’. Edward Everett Hale


Total number of years as AHRMM Member: 15 years
Years in health care: 15 years
Years worked in the health care supply chain profession: 15 years
Years worked in current position: 1 years
Number of direct reports: 6
Number of employees in your department: 27
Type of Organization you are employed by: Hospital/Medical Center

Describe your current position and responsibilities:

Sr. Director of Support Services responsible for Supply Chain, Environmental Services and Facilities. On Safety, Environment of Care, remodel and print services committees. Managing multiple construction projects. Mentor and train management team in these areas to create a team of educated and cross-trained individuals. Create a succession plan for smooth transitions when any member of the team is not in the building or has an opportunity to advance.


List service to local chapter and to AHRMM national, including all committee/task force involvement, and whether you served as a member or as chair, within the past 5 years.

  • Current second year member of the Issues & Legislative Committee, also served a one-year term in 2016
  • Served on the Education Committee in 2016 and 2017, Chair in 2017
  • Participated in several Learning UDI Community projects
  • Member of the Greater Ohio Chapter of AHRMM from 2004 – 2015 and returned in 2019
  • Member of the Kansas City Regional Materials Management Association 2015 – 2019. President 2018
  • AHRMM CMRP review eLearning course, 2018

List Annual Conferences, Leadership Training Conferences, and Thought Leader Summits attended, including dates and locations, within the past 5 years:

  • AHRMM conference 2013 – San Diego, CA
  • AHRMM conference 2015 – Indianapolis, IN
  • AHRMM conference 2016 – Austin, TX
  • AHRMM conference 2017 – Washington DC
  • AHRMM conference 2018 – Chicago, IL
  • UDI conference – Baltimore, MD speaker 2018
  • GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit – Las Vegas, NV speaker 2018
  • Studer leadership conference – Washington DC – May 2019
  • UHC (now Vizient) conference 2013 – Atlanta, GA
  • UHC (now Vizient) conference 2014 – Las Vegas, NE
  • AHE conference 2014 – Tampa, FL
  • Cerner Perioperative Workshop, Kansas City, MO, 2016 (Speaker)
  • Cerner Perioperative Workshop, Kansas City, MO, 2017 (Speaker)
  • Cerner Perioperative Workshop, Kansas City, MO, 2018
  • Cerner Healthcare Conference, Kansas City, MO 2015
  • Cerner Healthcare Conference, Kansas City, MO 2016
  • Cerner Healthcare Conference, Kansas City, MO 2017
  • Cerner Healthcare Conference, Kansas City, MO 2018

Service to professional associations or community organizations to which you belong, including all committees, whether you served as a member or as chair, the year(s) of service, any elected offices held and the year(s) held:

  • Member Institute for Supply Management 1995 – Present
  • Member American College of Healthcare Executives – 2019
  • Member Greater Ohio Chapter of ACHE – 2019
  • Member Association for Society of Healthcare Engineers – 2019
  • Member Tristate Society of Healthcare Engineers – 2019
  • Boy Scout Committee Member 1997 – 2012
  • 4-H advisor 1998 - 2016
  • 4-H advisory committee 2000 - 2015