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VHA, CDW Healthcare Chart New Course for Contract

The MSS CSC includes 16 VHA members located in Kansas and Missouri that act as one unit and purchase approximately $520 million of products and services annually.  The CSC is designed to advance supply chain efficiency, decrease costs, streamline operations and help hospitals maximize the value of every dollar spent.  Though the organization had an excellent track record for driving down costs for its members, it sought better ways to leverage its scale and purchasing power for IT – from commodity products to advanced technology solutions.

VHA showcased an innovative, collaborative effort rooted in analytical data and sourcing expertise to tackle the challenge.  Working with internal experts and MSS, VHA identified an opportunity to enhance the value of a current vendor agreement, working closely with MSS to develop a solution based on the needs of each hospital, while still maintaining the appeal of an aggregated purchasing entity.

After an initial review of spending and technology needs, VHA turned to one of its existing and proven technology providers, CDW Healthcare, for counsel.  Though VHA needed purchase price discounts to demonstrate savings, it also needed to understand the benefits that basic and advanced IT services would bring to its members, as well as the importance of partner breadth and depth, technical expertise, contracting experience and even vendor market commitment in the partnership decision.

“This agreement clearly demonstrates the difference between providing access to technology products and entering into a strong relationship,” said Bob Rossi, vice president of CDW Healthcare.  “In this instance, VHA members not only get cost-effective, streamlined IT from a dedicated account team, but also have access to advanced technology and healthcare solutions from a single source.”

In addition to immediate savings recognized by the participating hospitals, new standards on printers, desktops, thin clients, notebooks and monitors have been created to drive further cost savings and efficiencies.  VHA and CDW Healthcare are also working to create standards around products such as servers to help drive sustainable cost reduction over the term of the agreement.   

“The ultimate goal is to help hospitals identify and execute on cost reduction opportunities,” said Nik Fincher, vice president of Purchased Services and Capital for VHA. “Our members have enjoyed success with CDW Healthcare over the years, and this particular initiative demonstrates CDW Healthcare’s flexibility and ability to meet members’ needs while providing the maximum benefit to each participating hospital.”  

Thirty-two VHA member hospitals from MSS that have already signed the agreement will see immediate cost efficiencies on IT products based upon the increased purchasing scale.  Participating members will also have immediate access to:

    * A dedicated account manager
    * Complex, healthcare-specific solutions including PACS, Point of Care and telemedicine
    * Pre- and post-sales services including assessments, configuration, installation and product lifecycle management
    * Managed and hosted services
    * Advanced technology solutions such as unified communications, IT security, business continuity and server virtualization
    * More than 300 technology specialists
    * A broad range of software, hardware and healthcare equipment manufacturers

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