Dee Donatelli

Q&A with AHRMM chair Dee Donatelli

July 28, 2020
by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor
HealthCare Business News caught up with Dee Donatelli, AHRMM chair and vice president of professional services at TractManager and principal of Dee Donatelli Consulting LLC, to get the yearly update on the association as well as a little background about her.

HCB News: What inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare?
Dee Donatelli: I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a nurse. My father suffered from chronic cardiac disease and I distinctly remember sitting in an aqua blue vinyl chair in his hospital room watching the nurses in their crisp white uniforms and caps thinking; “that is who I want to be when I grow up.” I completed my AD then BSN in Nursing and specialized in Cardiology.

HCB News: How long have you been a member of AHRMM?
DD: I have been an active member of AHRMM and the Kansas State Chapter since 1989.

HCB News: What causes or ideas have been on your mind as chair?
DD: The relationship of AHRMM and the American Hospital Association is essential. AHA is AHRMM’s parent company and it is imperative that we closely align. AHRMM’s Cost, Quality and Outcomes Movement plays a critical role in improving healthcare affordability, which is one of the top initiatives of the AHA. As healthcare executives recognize that their organization’s success heavily relies on the performance and effectiveness of the supply chain, AHRMM continues to expand the goals and objectives of CQO and advocates for its adoption by every supply chain to help healthcare organizations deliver quality care at a more affordable cost. AHRMM continues its role as a primary convener of the healthcare supply chain community and provides education, resources and peer support to its members so they can accelerate performance improvement and enhance patient experience.

HCB News: Do you anticipate changes in the supply chain based on the experience from COVID-19?
DD: I hope there will be many changes in supply chain. The pandemic has opened people’s eyes to the significant role of supply chain management. Never before did we hear the words supply chain on national news or in the New York Times. As Winston Churchill put it, I hope that we “do not let a good crisis go to waste” but rather garner the support and funding to enhance the supply chain technology and innovation in ways that will enhance the profession for years to come.

HCB News: Other than the issues brought on by the pandemic, what other challenges do your members face?
DD: The consideration of a worldwide supply chain has not really been a focus in healthcare. We have not mapped nor considered raw good production in relationship to local distribution and availability. I believe that AHRMM must help lead the way for us to think bigger. Supply chain is more than our local distributor and GPO. Hospitals need to take back ownership of their process and grow as a result of this crisis in more effective management.

HCB News: The annual conference was rescheduled from a live event to a virtual event (to be held in September) — what can you tell readers about the virtual event?
DD: The healthcare supply chain community is excited to take on the “new normal”, and AHRMM’s virtual event will lead the way. We are optimistic that we will reach a wider healthcare supply chain audience regardless of time, location, travel bans or gathering restrictions. I have only missed one conference in 30 years. While an in-person conference is unquestionably something AHRMM members look forward to each year, this virtual event will lead to a new way to network and connect with even more of our colleagues. The potential is limitless and people from across the world can join instantly!

HCB News: What are you most looking forward to at this virtual event?
DD: Now I can attend ALL of the sessions and events versus just the ones that I choose during a two- or three-day conference. I can attend at my own pace and listen to speakers on-demand as it works with my schedule.

HCB News: What tools, training and technology do you think will best assist the healthcare supply chain professional of the future?
DD: Technology is paramount in a “new normal” healthcare supply chain. We now have center stage in our organizations and the focus to enhance many manual or outdated inventory management and contracting practices. How do we assure that our staff can work effectively remotely? Being an advocate of the value analysis process, how do we make better-informed decisions virtually?

Lessons learned and roadmaps for success become increasingly valuable. We do not need to recreate the wheel; we can network through AHRMM to learn from our peers and enhance the success of the healthcare supply chain process through leading best practices. That is what AHRMM is about!