Rachel Hanna

Going Above and Beyond in Supply Chain

Supply chain—two words that encompass so much of what makes a hospital truly work. Under the umbrella of supply chain at Midland Health there are six key areas, including: central supply, sterile processing, accounts payable, shipping/receiving, print shop/courier services/mailroom, and a unique operating room (OR) support department that looks over the business aspects of the OR, including inventory, supply replenishment, charge capture and chart audits.

“Care within the hospital is enhanced with the supplies and the support we provide,” says Rachel Hanna, director of supply chain for Midland Health.

Every member of her supply chain team is deeply invested in the cultural values of the organization and has a sincere focus on customer care that extends to caring for each other, hospital staff outside of supply chain, and, of course, patients.

Hanna shares the example of a staff member responsible for building case carts who volunteered to spend the night at the hospital due to a bad snowstorm that would have required her colleague coming in for the next shift to drive in dangerous weather. “Our culture is focused on accountability and owning your practice by giving your best in every situation,” she notes.

Communication At A Higher Level

With a department that spans across multiple locations and with staff at varying levels of education and specialty, Hanna puts a focus on communication with approaches such as:

  • weekly meetings with her direct report managers to maintain open communication channels and discuss common goals and objectives,   
  • monthly meetings with the complete team to discuss opportunities for improvement, cover standing agenda items such as service excellence experiences and financial data, and    
  • regular rounding by Hanna and department leadership to understand needs and successes on the front line and to be there to step in whenever a helping hand is needed.   

“We are a support department and that level of high service has to come from every member of our team, including myself,” Hanna stresses. “I try to be sensitive to the needs of my staff, both on and off the job, and I strive to model the importance of being a leader, no matter what role you are serving in.”

Hands-on Leadership

Hanna’s focus on leadership and professional accountability is rooted in Midland Health’s Culture of Ownership, which she supports among her team through daily time during their huddle to recite the Pickle Pledge to reject toxic emotional negativity and to recite the Self Empowerment Pledge to focus on individual actions, as well as a commitment to the organization’s core values.

“We talk about how the core values of our organization truly impact our personal and professional lives,” Hanna explains. “We can’t separate the professional from the personal aspects of our character to have integrity, honesty, and to be authentic—if you have these aspects in your personal life you will bring them into your work life.

Another important part of Hanna’s leadership approach is cross-training. All of her staff members are cross-trained for one or two more positions so a team member can step in when needed. She says this also supports throughput and her department’s focus on being able to provide superior customer service.

Empowered Practice Through Technology, Innovation

To support timely response and fill needed services, Hanna’s supply chain team relies on automation and other technologies. Some of these include

  • automated point of use stations for techs and end-users to access stock and other supply chain functions, and   
  • automated financial services, such as purchase order generation and transmission and payments input via electronic data interchange.

Hanna says those interested in working within her supply chain team don’t necessarily need experience in health care. “I look for candidates who have a passion and keen knowledge for inventory processes and expedient customer service,” Hanna says. “The right addition to my team will also embody the values at Midland Health and have a sincere interest in working as part of a team to support patient care.”

    •Explore opportunities to join Rachel Hanna’s supply chain team.

    •Learn more about Midland Health’s Culture of Ownership.

    •View Hanna’s profile on LinkedIn.