UPMC data exchange technology seeks to spur supply chain efficiencies

By Mike Miliard
10:39 AM

Prodigo Solutions, a unit of UPMC, has launched ProdigoXchange, an e-commerce platform that aims to lower costs and improve efficiency throughout the healthcare supply chain.

Powered by technology licensed from Ontario-based Toreion Corp., the exchange enables providers to electronically connect with vendors, improving contract compliance and replacing more costly alternative exchanges, officials say.

[See also: UPMC deploys Wi-Fi-based RFID.]
"ProdigoXchange offers our healthcare customers a competitively priced electronic data interchange platform with enhanced functionality, and it allows them to focus more of their resources on their primary mission: providing great patient care," said Michael DeLuca, vice president of technology and client services for Prodigo.
ProdigoXchange aims to drive efficiency for healthcare purchasers by providing automated email reminders that help track supplier acknowledgments of dispatched purchase orders. Officials note that customized reports can be sent daily to an  organization’s purchasing staff, including information on back-orders, price changes and out-of-stock situations, enabling them to focus real-time on critical activities without having to use multiple websites and passwords. Additionally, the technology allows suppliers to electronically submit invoices according to customer-specific standards, eliminating paper documents and processing costs.

The initial users of ProdigoXchange – Pittsburgh-based UPMC and Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland, Wash. – have already seen savings from the platform, with improved efficiency for end users and increased audit compliance.

"We are providing our end users with a product that is easy to use and adaptable to their requirements, and we have increased our audit compliance because of the system’s transparency and detailed reporting capabilities," said Max Rothwell, an analyst at Evergreen.

[See also: UPMC puts IT to work on supply chain.] 

In addition to ProdigoXChange, Evergreen implemented the full suite of Prodigo Solutions’ managed services, including ProdigoMarketplace, a hosted solution that connects buyers and sellers in a virtual supplier network, and ProdigoBuyer, which automates and streamlines the requisition creation, submission and approval process.

Based on the efficiencies achieved at UPMC by applying Toreion’s technology to supply chain automation, Toreion and Prodigo Solutions have entered into a partnership that seeks to provide similar benefits to other providers.

"This flexible platform that Prodigo Solutions now offers to the broad commercial marketplace makes it easy and cost-effective for suppliers to do business with us electronically, and it allows them to avoid the high costs of using an alternative exchange," said David A. Hargraves, vice president of clinical supply chain at UPMC. "With ProdigoXchange, we are proving that electronic data exchange in healthcare should be viewed and priced as a commodity, as it is in other established industries, so that we can lower the cost of delivering high-quality healthcare."