UPMC, IBM turn to analytics to improve supply chain performance with new company


The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is embarking on a new venture that will change and improve supply chain performance through the use of data and analytics.

Through a partnership with IBM Watson, UPMC has created an independent supply chain management company, Pensiamo, according to an announcement.

James Szilagy, chief supply chain officer for UPMC, told FierceHealthIT that the idea for Pensiamo came from a desire to reduce supply chain costs by combing and aligning “the best talents, tools, analytics and business processes” of IBM and UPMC.

The company, he added, will offer progressive source-to-pay services to the industry wrapped around advanced analytics that IBM’s Watson Health will provide.

“We’ll be capturing structured and unstructured data focused on patients and practice and products usage, and so we’ll bring that all together to better inform our decision making process around product selection and usage,” said Szilagy, who will transition to the role of CEO of Pensiamo.

Initially, UPMC will own a majority of the company and be its initial customer. But Pensiamo is already reaching out some potential other customers, Szilagy said, and will be advancing those discussions to the next level now that Pensiamo has been set up.

He added that analytical tools and innovation are “heavy investments” for UPMC and that the organization is the first to focus on the use of such tools for supply chain management.

“You can only get so much price-to-price, so what we believe is that for product selection--how products are used, what products are used--there is endless opportunity for analytics to play a role to help healthcare organizations be more efficient, provide better care to patients, improve quality, all of that," Szilagy said.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement