Hi-Tech Medical Warehouse Helps Utah Be More Prepared

Midvale — Intermountain Healthcare officially opened a new hi-tech 327,000 square foot distribution, warehouse, and office facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 12, 2012.

Named the Intermountain Kem C. Gardner Supply Chain Center, the facility will house all the operations relating to the supplies Intermountain's clinicians and employees use — from negotiating contracts with suppliers to warehouse storage, from purchasing to transportation logistics. It will also bring together under one roof many of the programs and services that previously were dispersed across the Intermountain system.

It is named after Kem Gardner, who served as the volunteer chairman of Intermountain Healthcare from 2007-2012.

The Supply Chain Center is centrally located near a majority of Intermountain hospitals and clinics, with immediate access to multiple traffic arteries. In the case of a local emergency, such as a natural disaster, the new center will be able to more quickly transfer needed supplies to medical facilities, as compared to relying on many out-of-state vendors to deliver supplies. It also was built to withstand a strong earthquake — the same building standard for hospitals such as Intermountain Medical Center.

By purchasing supplies directly from the manufacturer, handling the delivery of products, and streamlining processes, Intermountain estimates it will reduce its costs by nearly $80 million in the first five years while ensuring that clinicians and employees receive supplies in a timely, efficient manner. It is expected the facility will hire approximately 40 new employees to staff the distribution center.

The highly-automated facility will order, purchase, stock, and distribute more than 5,000 different types of medical supplies. It's anticipated that more than 2.5 million medical items will pass through the center each year.

"The self-distribution model is a new, best-practice strategy gaining acceptance nationally among many top hospital systems," said Brent Johnson, vice president of Intermountain's Supply Chain Organization. "It provides exceptional efficiency, cost savings, and provides an additional safety net for our communities if an emergency situation arises."

The facility is anticipated to qualify for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, meaning it was designed and built to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.​​

The highly-automated facility is a new best practice, self-distribution model gaining national acceptance​