Supply Chain Services

Guest column by Brenda Morgan, UF Health Supply Chain Services strategic project manager

Aaron Newbold, UF Health Shands Supply Chain Services sterile processing tech, and his co-workers prepare approximately 200 surgical instrument trays each day.

Aaron Newbold, UF Health Shands Supply Chain Services sterile processing tech, and his co-workers prepare approximately 200 surgical instrument trays each day.

 UF Health Shands Supply Chain Services is a robust and complex division that plays an integral role in supporting our delivery of

patient care. The team provides medical supplies for all patient care areas and nonclinical supplies for an array of departments.

Imagine a surgical team preparing to perform a lifesaving surgery. The team requires a cascade of supplies ranging from state-of-the-art equipment and surgical instrumentation to the suture used at the end of a successful operation. Following the procedure, the patient is transferred to a nursing floor for continued care, where the team ensures that medical necessities are available.

Supply Chain Services helps match the needs of our providers with crucial supplies and tools so they can provide first-class patient care. It is composed of six operational departments and five core service departments.


Customer Service Department
This department processes approximately 5,000 hospital supply requisitions per month. The requests are received daily from nursing units and other UF Health customers. The team completes requisitions with less than a 1 percent error rate and manages an expansive database to track product order history and guide efficient future purchases.

Linen Services Department
This department delivers clean linen to all inpatient and outpatient locations. Each month, the staff distributes more than 600,000 pounds of clean linen and maintains the ScrubEx automated system that dispenses more than 20,000 scrubs.

Operating Room Materials Department
This department ensures that OR surgical and clinical teams are equipped with medical supplies to perform more than 100 surgical cases in 47 OR suites. The staff initiates supply orders, manages supply returns, replenishes surgical supplies and consistently monitors and removes expired items.

Receiving Department
This department inspects all equipment and supplies shipped to our facilities from the manufacturer for serviceability and accuracy. The team is responsible for shipping and tracking more than 8,000 packages on a monthly basis.

Equipment Distribution Center
This department ensures the timely delivery of vital medical equipment to nursing units. More than 13,000 equipment items are inspected, cleaned and maintained each month.

Central Sterile Services Department
This department processes patient surgical procedure trays and instrumentation used in our ORs, emergency rooms, nursing units and offsite clinics. More than 7,000 procedure trays are processed monthly.


Integrated Service Center
The team manages bulk hospital supplies and is located in a 74,000-square-foot warehouse in northeast Gainesville. The center’s partner, Owens and Minor, manages daily activities and has 75 team members. More than 9,000 items are stored at the warehouse. Supplies are sourced from approximately 460 manufacturers.

Publication Services Department
This department supports UF Health by providing design services for a multitude of projects. The team links closely with UF Health Communications Creative Services. Projects include corporate identity, patient education, marketing/communications, Web design/maintenance and promotional materials. In addition, the team supports patient care by working with the EPIC team to provide forms that conform to regulatory and compliance requirements.

Strategic Project Management
This department selects, manages and measures project outcomes to ensure optimal value for the organization. All projects must meet the criteria established by the organization’s leadership to align with UF Health’s strategic goals.

Distribution and Information Management
This department facilitates the relationship between UF Health Shands and the Integrated Service Center, including the backorder process and the management of recalls. The team also works with nursing and suppliers in the evaluation of substitute products and manages many Patient Safety Reports involving supplies. The staff provides timely and accurate reporting and system support to internal and external customers that includes managing a number of automated, Web-based tracking tools.

Strategic Sourcing (Contracting, Purchasing and Value Analysis)
This department collaborates to improve the organization’s procurement of services and supplies. Contracting contributes to cost-savings initiatives by actively facilitating and negotiating supply and equipment contracts, service and maintenance agreements and strategic bids. Experienced purchasing agents ensure effective and efficient procurement of medical supplies and equipment. Value Analysis provides an organized approach for matching products to the needed function while reducing cost and improving or maintaining quality.

While Supply Chain Services team members never contact our patients directly, they have a significant impact on the patient experience and offer broad support to the entire UF Health system.