Every quarter, Inventory Optimization Solutions (IOS) identifies and shares best practices from among our current users to help educate the healthcare community on supply chain automation, especially in the non-acute healthcare market.

Congratulations to Touchstone Medical Imaging on being selected as the winner of the IOS Q4 2017 Best Practice Award. Touchstone Imaging has demonstrated exceptional capabilities in furthering their electronic procurement processes with targeted, EDI-capable vendors, and strategically identifying products and vendors that enable the best pricing.

The Touchstone Imaging Story

Rami Nofal
Senior Financial Analyst
As a large group of medical imaging outpatient centers, we’re the front line for physicians needing diagnostic information to help their patients. Our philosophy is to bring together state of the art equipment, the most qualified radiologists, and superior customer service for patients and physicians in the communities we serve. At the cornerstone of every decision is the patient.


Driving Change

Over recent years, we’ve rapidly grown to nearly 60 centers. With that growth, it became essential to digitize our entire ordering process into a single platform with fingertip access for our clinicians. We selected the IOS Envi solution to help us implement a system and processes that provided more visibility and control over what we buy. Since procurement processes in healthcare are so complicated, it’s important we have the data to steer our buyers to order the right products, from the appropriate vendors, at our best available price.
With Envi, we have full visibility of our spend; we can understand what we’re buying, from whom, and at what price. With this, we continually become more strategic within our procurement process.
Using Envi, we’ve implemented EDI with 7 key vendors based on the products we were purchasing and the vendors’ EDI capabilities, delivering the greatest return on our efforts. Today our buyers can log into Envi from anywhere and order exactly the products we’ve selected in our formulary.


Driving standardization is key to savings and control. With good purchasing data, we’ve been able to reduce the number of items we buy within product categories and the number of vendors from which we purchase. We are also able to more effectively leverage our spend to achieve better pricing from manufacturers.
With Envi, we have the visibility and transparency we need to get our negotiated contract prices. Avoiding variances between contract and invoice price is a big deal and whenever we can ensure we match, we’re able to streamline and automate accounting.
Our goal is to continually deliver a streamlined purchasing experience to the end-users in our centers. We don’t want our team members who see 30 patients a day spending valuable time on procurement tasks. We want them to get the full benefit of an automated ordering process, so they can get back to the patients who need them.

Summary of Best Practices


Vendor Selection

We focused on identifying a key group of EDI-capable vendors. It’s important to understand a vendor’s capabilities for handling and generating electronic documents. Your goal should be 100% EDI transactions with these vendors – you’ll save time and build visibility for future decision-making.


Control Spend

We’ve loaded the exact products and vendors we want our centers to buy from, ensuring we get the right products at the best prices. When someone requests a new product, we can determine if it’s something we need to add or simply an educational opportunity to point the requester to what’s available on our formulary. We keep control over spend and can reduce costs.


Allow Time to Standardize

Once you have your users set up in Envi and have on-boarded vendors, you can begin standardizing on specific items. Standardization has an educational component; it’s important to get everyone on the same drum beat, then you can continue making changes.