1. Think strategically
To succeed, the onboarding approach had to weigh all options and pressure-test them before making recommendations—for example, conducting capacity planning to ensure smooth implementation across multiple sites within a tight timeframe.
“There was a game plan for every scenario,” said Mike Smith, Director of Strategic Planning and Execution, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. “That level of planning and flexibility was essential to our success,” said Sheila Elliott, Pharmacy System Manager, Tennessee Oncology.
2. Gain alignment
To maximize efficiency and cost savings, the formulary had to be aligned across 32 very different practices. Clinical, IT and distribution perspectives all had to come together under an umbrella of collaboration and mutual agreement.
“I believe this was the biggest conversion ever in our industry,” said Ron Horowitz, CFO, Tennessee Oncology. “Despite the challenge, Cardinal Health made every effort to ensure accuracy. And it showed in the satisfaction levels among our clinicians and staff during implementation.”
3. Embrace customer intimacy
“Tennessee Oncology isn’t just one of the largest cancer centers in the country with 32 different locations. For onboarding, it is 32 unique clients with very specific needs,” said Jeff Lovesy, VP Direct Sales Management, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. “Different scheduling, products, chemotherapy, IT, services—everything.” So understanding and solving the unique challenges of each practice was critical to successful onboarding.
“Cardinal Health addressed every challenge right away—and they were not repeated,” said Stacey McCullough, Director of Pharmacy, Tennessee Oncology.
4. Communicate daily
A centralized ‘War Room’ was established where clinical and administrative leadership on both sides came together to manage the rollout. Plans and status updates were then communicated to all sites to keep everyone up to date and on board with progress.