Mercy World's No. 2 Health Care Supply Chain

December 5, 2011

By Kathleen Woehrmann

Mercy, the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S., along with the supply chain company it founded nearly a decade ago, Resource Optimization & Innovation (ROi), has been recognized as the No. 2 global supply chain in health care in the Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25. This is the third year in a row for Mercy and ROi to land in the top three and the only organization to achieve this every year of the ranking.

Mercy, which also ranked as the No. 1 health care provider for three years in a row, was second in the 2011 Gartner ranking to only Cardinal Health, a Fortune 19 company. Some of the largest companies in the world rounded out the top five, including two Fortune 500 companies: No. 3 BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company); No. 4 Mayo Clinic; and No. 5 Owens & Minor. View the complete 2011 Gartner report here.

“For Mercy, the work of developing a supply chain has helped build a culture of collaboration that has been transformational for our entire health ministry,” said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy. “Often times, supply chain is thought of in a cost management mode but it really is so much more than that. We’ve been able to link supply chain and clinicians together to not only reduce costs and streamline processes but work to improve patient care.”

Gartner, Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, began ranking health care manufacturers, distributors, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), consultants and providers in 2009. Gartner stated the research “focuses on the health care value chain’s pursuit of high-quality patient care at optimal economic cost,” and includes both a Gartner and peer review opinion rating.

The Gartner report also stated, “Mercy (No. 2) has moved up one spot from last year on the strength of its opinion score, and remains the highest-ranked health system for the third year in a row. Mercy's laser-like focus on supply chain excellence, as well as the credibility it has achieved with its clinical and business leadership, is admirable by any industry's standards.”

“As the challenges in health care grow, supply chain plays an important role in supporting high-quality patient care through innovation, collaborative partnerships with all stakeholders and strong leadership committed to driving change,” said Gene Kirtser, president and CEO of ROi, which operates through a provider-owned supply chain model that integrates functions traditionally performed by commercial distributors, GPOs, manufacturers and consultants. “We appreciate the acknowledgment by Gartner and our industry peers. This ranking is a testament to the integrated supply chain model built by Mercy and ROi, and the value it brings to health care.”

Britton added, “The current business model of American health care is not sustainable. We have to reinvent ourselves, and supply chain has the opportunity to take the lead to help health care systems transform into a more modern, sustainable business and clinical model.

Gartner’s report also noted Mercy and ROi’s response to the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., that destroyed the health system’s 367-bed hospital. Mercy and ROi sourced and opened a 60-bed mobile hospital in less than a week following the disaster, to support the health care needs of the Joplin community. Gartner’s report stated, “Mercy passed this test of resiliency, showing that an investment in supply chain capabilities and talent provides a buffer against daily challenges and potential disasters, too.”


About Mercy

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 30 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

About ROi

ROi (Resource Optimization & Innovation) is a recognized leader in health care supply chain management. Founded by Mercy in 2002, ROi provides a single-source, fully integrated supply chain solution, including group contracting, clinical and operational consulting, pharmaceutical repackaging, custom procedure tray manufacturing, print operations, purchasing and master item file management, and distribution and transportation management. ROi collaborates with like-minded health care providers and progressive suppliers to redefine the supply chain and develop solutions to drive greater efficiencies, reduce costs and produce sustainable change. ROi co-workers support health care providers from a home base in St. Louis, Mo., and a 100,000-square-foot Consolidated Services Center (CSC) in Springfield, Mo. For more information, visit

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,500 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and has 4,500 associates, including 1,250 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit

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