Patterson Saves Clinic More Than $100K in Medical Supplies
Patterson’s job as a medical/surgical buyer at Hattiesburg Clinic means he’s responsible for ordering medical and surgical supplies for the clinic’s more than 100 medical departments and surgery centers. Think needles, syringes, gloves, band-aids and other basic medical items you see during your doctor visit.
“So basically, all of the buyers [at the clinic] are responsible for the procurement of any needed supplies for the clinic. We keep an inventory here. We have to keep up with items,” explained Patterson. “It’s a lot of research as well. The buying part is really just a small part of it. We do a lot of research for buying, researching the vendors, pricing. And we all do our best to provide costs savings for the clinic.”
He found a new vendor for the clinic’s IV solutions (i.e., saline bags) that charged significantly less than what the clinic was already paying. The savings on the saline bags alone totaled about $80,000. That, along with other cost cuts, have saved Hattiesburg Clinic the equivalent of what you’d pay for an average sized house in this area. And the year isn’t even over yet.
The 44-year-old Hattiesburg native said it’s the most he’s saved for the clinic in a single a year throughout his many years in the Purchasing department. Patterson joined the clinic in 1995 as a patient representative, mostly running errands between departments. He eventually moved to the Purchasing department, where he started as a warehouse and file clerk. Within two years, he moved up to the buyer position.
“We’re a pretty tight-knit group over here. We all get along with each other. We joke around, we cut up, but at the end of the day we all get our stuff done. And we don’t dread coming in to see one another.”
Patterson said although saving money is important when securing medical and surgical supplies, quality is the first priority.
“Cost-savings are definitely important to us, but quality is more important; because that’s what they’re gonna use on the patient. And if it’s not good for the patient or gonna improve the quality of care for the patient, it’s not good for the clinic.”
Patterson lives in Hattiesburg with his wife of 23 years. Together, they have a son and a daughter. He enjoys reading, binging TV shows with his wife and playing video games with his son.
Q: What was the most unusual/most interesting job you had before starting with the clinic?
A: Pep’s Point. I can remember working on the water slides…After hours, you could ride down the waterslide without any water on it, and believe it or not, you would go three times faster than they normally would with water on it.
Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?
A: I’m kind of a movie buff. The first movie that always comes to mind is Forrest Gump.
Q: What’s your “undercover dream?”
A: I guess a dream of mine was always to be an astronaut. I’ve always loved space and loved “Star Trek” growing up.
Q: How would you describe Hattiesburg Clinic?
A: As having been an employee and a patient, I can say it’s a pretty amazing place. As a patient, I could not ask for better care. And as an employee, it’s a great place to work.