The Questions We Hear at Every Conference

Kids are back to school, the air has turned crisp, and that means that fall meeting and event season is upon us. We’ve spied some terrific agendas coming up at both national events and regional AHRMM chapter meetings.

In addition to learning and networking at events, we genuinely enjoy helping health system leaders get hands-on with our products. The eye-catching bright pillows and the cheerful rainbow of slipper socks draw attendees over to us. A few folks may follow their noses to the light and fresh scent of our Gilchrist & Soames-stocked amenity kits. But what keeps attendees chatting with us is the chance to connect with our sourcing and value analysis experts.

We get all kinds of questions – we dive into on-the-spot consultation about the best starting point for a direct sourcing program, and we can help troubleshoot product conversions that require clinician buy-in.

But some questions come up at every event. We’re always happy to answer these in person but if we missed you out on the road, here are our answers for your reference.

“What’s a “patient preference item”?”

A patient preference item is a care product or amenity that impacts the patient’s experience. We group items like amenity kits and hygiene supplies, garment and belonging bags, reusable mugs or pitchers, blankets, and fans into this category. Patient preference items are supplies that should exceed patient’s expectations for quality and comfort. They are the items that are so useful that patients may bring them home with them. The design and branding of patient preference items is an opportunity for the health system to extend their relationship with patients, to provide “delight” along with healing.

“Can we get our logo on this?”

Yes! We can apply your logo and your colors – nearly all of our items are available with your brand applied, and we’re happy to advise on which products should be branded.

We customize products in two ways – one, we can apply your brand to an existing product. And two, we can help you design a new product with custom features, sizes, or materials to meet your unique needs. We’ve connected health systems to manufacturers who can produce apparel like warm-up jackets in specific fabrics; adapt slipper socks for better safety; or collect all clinician requirements for thermometers and build a single device that includes every feature they need.

“Do you supply _________________?”

One of our favorite questions. The answer is almost always yes we can.

The benefit of direct sourcing is that you can “shop outside the catalog”. We offer a product catalog to show you our range of capabilities and to show which items we’ve already sourced for leading health systems. But we’re not limited to those items. We connect health systems directly to manufacturers. If you need something unique, we take the specifications out to manufacturers to source it.

Some of our most popular products today started out as custom product requests:

  • Extended sizes for apparel, including 4 and 5XL sizes
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable food service items and fabrics
  • Amenity kits for specific patient needs, like “quiet night” kits (sleep mask, ear plugs) or “outpatient breast cancer treatment” kits (lip balm, notepad and pen, blanket)

“We have not done any direct sourcing before. Do I have to distribute these items myself?”

Not unless you want to. ASP Global gives you control over the packaging, shipping, and distribution options that work for you. Self-distributing health systems can receive shipments into their distribution facilities; but we also work with your existing distributor or deliver to your loading dock just like any other supplier.

“Are the savings really worth it?”

Yes. Too many health system leaders are operating under the assumption that the “juice isn’t worth the squeeze” on products believed to be “commodities”. Direct sourcing actually unlocks new hidden value by eliminating middlemen in the supply chain between the manufacturer and your facility. We help health systems achieve double-digit savings for many categories, and we can improve alignment with clinicians and improve product quality by sourcing for your unique product requirements.

We hope these “FAQs” help to advance your thinking about direct sourcing. If you have questions we didn’t address here, please email William Fallon at william.fallon@aspglobal.com