The Resource Group Analytics Internship | Learning and Collaboration in Service of Enhanced and Affordable Patient Care

August 23, 2019

by The Resource Group

The Resource Group, a business transformation organization focused on resource and supply management, hosts analyst interns across Participant locations. This 12-week intern program is structured as a fast-paced learning opportunity for the interns through multiple opportunities for collaboration on research and development projects related to patient care enhancements.

This summer, The Resource Group’s 12 Analyst Interns supported four research and data intensive projects including:

  • Ambulatory Care Improvements | A deep dive at improving patient care delivery in ambulatory settings
  • Pharmacy Product Sharing | An analysis at savings opportunities by reducing dead stock through intra-system drug sharing
  • The Future of Organ Transplants | A research project focused on dissecting current issues in organ transplants and future-state solutions
  • Population Health Management | A research project focused on outlining patient population needs and expectations regarding their care (specific to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and opportunities for system-wide improvements

All projects were conducted with a focus on how The Resource Group could support future-state opportunities as we work towards more clinically integrated supply chain operations. For example, the Ambulatory Care Improvements project reviewed projected timelines of movement from inpatient to outpatient care settings. Through this research the interns were able to provide opportunities for Ascension health ministries to succeed in these patient care delivery transitions while also outlining service enhancement areas The Resource Group could focus on to meet this shift in care delivery.

The Pharmacy Product Sharing project addressed the current gaps in the Pharmacy space impacting patient care such as rising prices, siloed operational structures, and high rates of product waste. The project led to the development of a consignment mapping tool which, when implemented, will assist health ministry Pharmacy teams in determining the best purchasing option for specific drugs. This project also showed an opportunity for Ascension and The Resource Group to implement better operational functions within Pharmacy to address current issues of dead stock, expired products, and back orders to enhance our ordering practices and reduce product waste.

The Future of Organ Transplant project also addressed waste (related to organ donations), but with a focus on the United States’ current organ transplant system. Through their research of organ transplant history, statistics, current processes in place, this group found nearly 20% of eligible kidney donations are disposed of due to poor transfer processes or lack thereof. Ascension’s rate of waste and patient wait times are less than the national average due to more streamlined systems; however, there is still room for improvement, with the opportunity to set the bar across healthcare through implementation of specific technologies. One such opportunity is the use of drones for deliveries which reduce overall cost of transport, and in turn, make organ transports and transplants more accessible to vulnerable patient populations. A second technology is 3D printing, which focus on reducing patient transplant wait times and addresses shifting patient care expectations to healthcare access.

The Resource Group’s last intern project took a deeper dive into these shifting patient care expectations through a Population Health Management project. This project assessed Ascension’s current patient population across the health ministries, along with future projections of social determinants of health, to offer projections on what our patient populations may need from their healthcare. This group specifically looked at Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and developed a best practices toolkit to assist caregivers in thinking through patient needs to ease symptoms and reduce readmission rates.

With only 12 weeks, The Resource Group Analytics Internship offers an amazing breadth of learning experiences. Outside of the group projects, interns focus on local opportunities to enhance patient care in areas such as: Reimbursement & Revenue, Mission Integration, Infection Prevention, and Patient Experience.

“The Resource Group is grateful for the opportunity to provide our interns with valuable and practical experience and would like to extend a hand of gratitude to all the health ministries, associates, and leaders who supported our interns as they developed their skills this past summer,” says Michelle McClay, Vice President, Deployment & Analytics. “We look forward to a new round of interns for Summer 2020 and are excited to see the opportunities they will experience during their time with us."

For more information on The Resource Group Analyst Internship please visit: