Leumit October 2019

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Digitally transforming health management


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How Leumit Health Services is harnessing digital transformation to provide unmatched service to its patients WRITTEN BY

HARRY MENEAR PRODUCED BY

K ANE WELLER


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L E U M I T H E A LT H S E R V I C E S

Eli Zimels, Director of Purchasing and Logistics at Leumit Health Services, explores the ways in which the Israeli HMO is harnessing the power of digital transformation to provide peerless patient service

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n a business landscape increasingly defined by hyperscale conglomerates and

multi-billion dollar mergers, it’s easy 04

to forget the advantages that come with being small. Founded in 1933, Leumit Health Services is the smallest of Israel’s four health management organisations (HMOs). While it may not be able to provide treatment to the largest number of patients in the country, by leveraging technology, its employees’ extensive experience and its innate agility, Leumit is dedicated to ensuring that it consistently delivers the best possible service to the people in its care. Leumit operates under the motto: “Taking care of your future health today,” a nod to its commitment to preventative health care as an integral part of the community service it delivers.


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L E U M I T H E A LT H S E R V I C E S

“ We may be the smallest HMO, but we like to think we’re the best in terms of the service we provide our patients” — Eli Zimels, Director of Purchasing and Logistics, Leumit Health

Leumit operates 350 clinics and around 170 pharmacies across Israel. Ensuring that essential medicine arrives on time and in the correct quantities is a mission critical priority for the organisation’s supply chain. “The medication that we’re purchasing can be life saving and if, for some reason, there’s a shortage, that’s my problem,” says Leumit’s Director of Purchasing and Logistics, Eli Zimels, who has served in his current role at the organisation for 11 years. We sat

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down with Zimels to explore his role in Leumit’s ongoing digital transformation – a process which is seeing the HMO harness technology to further enhance its exemplary standard of patient care. “We may be the smallest HMO, but we like to think we’re the best in terms of the service we provide our patients,” says Zimels. “We’re a ‘family HMO’: our doctors, nurses and pharmacists know each of their patients personally and can give them individual care. We put a great deal of money and energy into being the HMO with the best service.” In order to pursue this goal, Leumit has


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘LEUMIT HEALTH CARE’ 07 developed a ‘one-stop-shop’ model

one of the best standards of care in

at its clinics. “You can see the doctor,

the country.

then if you need something from the

Of course, Zimels explains, with

laboratory, you can go downstairs

a goal like this, the drive to improve

and take your blood test or your urine

and innovate is continuous. In support

test. If you need an x-ray, you can get

of improving patient service, Leumit is

one at the same clinic and, as you

pursuing three projects as part of its

leave, you can pick up your prescrip-

ongoing digital transformation.

tion from the pharmacy,” explains Zimels. This combination of diverse

MEDICATION ON DEMAND

medical services in one location, and

The project at the front of mind for

an emphasis on developing personal

Zimels and his logistics team is a

relationships between patients and

new initiative through which patients

medical staff, is the core driver be-

will – in the next few months – be

hind Leumit’s reputation of having

able to begin ordering their prescripw w w.l e um it . co. il


L E U M I T H E A LT H S E R V I C E S

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tions online and have them delivered

and which regulations they have to

to their homes. “We’re going to be

change so that we will be able to be-

the first HMO to do this,” he ex-

gin making deliveries.”

plains. Breaking ground in this way isn’t without its challenges, Zimels

DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN

admits. “In Israel, the regulations on

At a time when Leumit is embarking on

something like this are very strict, so

an expansion of its logistics respon-

until now nobody was able to offer a

sibilities as significant as prescription

prescription delivery service. When

deliveries, Zimels and his team have

you innovate like this, you have to

needed to harness every tool at their

start from scratch and that leads to

disposal to improve the consistency

challenges. We’ve had to have a lot of

and quality of the HMO’s back end

sessions with the Ministry of Health

supply chain function. “We’ve just

to explain what kind of help we need

finished implementing SAP across


our logistics and purchasing models,

of B2B interactions moving more

finance, budgeting and our mainte-

towards an all-digital format, and we

nance model for all the equipment in

think that SAP will get us part of the

the HMO,” he says. The implementa-

way towards closing that circle, but

tion of an industry-leading ERP solu-

we’re also going to need to collabo-

tion will, Zimels believes, go a long way

rate with our suppliers in a way that

towards increasing transparency and

results in an improved experience for

decreasing disruptions in Leumit’s

the patient.”

supply chain, but the organisation’s reneed to be an object of focus. “Often,

IMPROVING PATIENT CARE AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

our suppliers don’t volunteer the fact

“One of the most common requests

that there’s going to be a problem or

from our cardiologists is that, when

a shortage,” he says. “Mostly, we find

they take an EKG of a patient, they

out after we send an order through –

are able to easily access that pa-

that’s the most common disruptor of

tient’s previous EKGs for comparison,”

our supply chain. We’re seeing a trend

Zimels explains. Digitalising patient

lationships with its suppliers will also

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Eli Zimels A veteran supply chain executive, with over 25 years in operations, logistics and procurement, Zimels has worked as the the Director of Logistics and Purchasing for Leumit HMO since 2008. Previously, he held executive roles at BEZEQ, and Donna. He is a member of the National Council for Logistics in the Healthcare System and a guest lecturer in procurement and logistics.

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data for the sake of easy access, dis-

where it will then be available to rele-

tribution and backup is the third major

vant doctors, and even to the patients

project that Zimels is working on cur-

themselves. This will further support

rently. In the end, he hopes medical

Leumit’s current digital diagnostic and

data will be transferred directly from

support services, which allow patients

the equipment to the HMO’s database,

to schedule appointments, consult with physicians via video conference, access their medical records and receive their lab results, all from the comfort of their homes. “You’ll be able to have a video appointment with your doctor, who will be able to send your lab results to your computer, recommend medication and arrange to have it sent directly to your home,” says


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L E U M I T H E A LT H S E R V I C E S

LE U M I T O N L I N E S E RV I C E S

Leumit offers a large array of medical and administrative services via the internet and smartphone without having the patient having to physically go to a medical center. The service allows patients to:

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• Make appointments for primary care doctors and specialists

Zimels. “We’re closing a circle so you, as a patient, don’t even have to leave your home.”

THE FUTURE With plans for the first home deliveries of medication to begin around the end of October, before fully rolling out in 2020, and increased digitalisation of both the organisation’s strategic purchasing strategies and patient documentation, Zimel’s is confident that the coming years will see Leumit and its supply chain go from strength

• Consult with physicians • Obtain laboratory results • Receive information on allergies to medications and much more • See the medical record on line • See all x-rays that are done in our medical centers

$1.47bn+ Approximate revenue

1933

Year founded

3,200

Approximate number of employees


to strength. Reflecting on those

“By giving us a low price, we provide

strengths, he reflects that “first of all,

them with early entry to the market,

“We have great workers. Our work-

sometimes ahead of the National

ers are highly-educated, have a lot of

Basket. A small HMO has an advan-

experience, and are innovative and

tage doing this,” Zimels explains.

willing to learn. Secondly, we are very

This combination of agility, flex-

flexible as an organisation: our stra-

ibility and ongoing digitalisation will,

tegic purchasing department is very

Zimels is confident, continue to see

autonomous. We don’t need to have

Leumit provide a standard of ser-

lots of committees to approve things

vice to its patients that is unmatched

internally.” Externally, Leumit’s size

among its competitors.

also contributes to its flexibility, particularly when negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for purchases.

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Leumit Health Services 23 Shprinzak st. Tel Aviv Israel T +97236970483 www.leumit.co.il