The Purchasing Department provides centralized purchasing services to the UC Davis Medical Center. Limited delegation of purchasing authority has been extended to select UC Davis Medical Center departments in recognition of their unique needs. The department, however, is responsible for ensuring that all purchases, either on a central basis or by a delegated department, are made in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth by the Regents of the University of California, the Office of the President, and the laws of the state of California. Departments retaining limited delegation of purchasing authority include Clinical Engineering, Dietary, Perioperative Services, Pathology, Pharmacy, and Radiology.

Staff members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with policy regarding vendor relationships as articulated by UC Davis Health Policy and Procedure 2204, "Vendor Relationships" prior to interacting with vendor representatives during the performance of their duties.

Staff members are also encouraged to contact the Purchasing Department front desk in the event of "STAT" orders for patient care related purchases. The front desk staff will ensure the appropriate buyer is notified of the immediate need for the supply item in question and the buyer will, in turn, take every action needed to expedite the delivery of the item.

Methods of making purchases

For purchases with an estimated value of $100,000 or more, competitive formal solicitations are prepared and issued to industry. The solicitations are provided to potential bidders by mail as well as being posted on the Supply Chain website. Each solicitation will identify the responsible buyer, contain response due dates and provide instructions on how to respond to the solicitation as well as other pertinent information. After analysis of solicitation responses, the winner of the competition is selected on the basis of evaluation factors and criteria established to guide source selection activities.

For purchases with an estimated value of less than $100,000, solicitations may be prepared and issued based on the judgment of the buyer handling the acquisition. Solicitations for these acquisitions will vary in terms of complexity and are suited to fit the environment of the instant acquisition.

The University of California has also established Systemwide Planned Purchasing Agreements. The agreements are for use by campuses, medical centers and laboratories. Some of the agreements have been competitively bid and are designated as a “primary source.” Such agreements are based on a commitment to the supplier to use their products exclusively and purchases at any dollar level may be made without seeking competition. The remaining agreements have been negotiated and are designated as University Price Schedules and are not to be used in lieu of competition.

The UC Davis Medical Center is also a member of Vizient, a group purchasing organization. Vizient is an alliance of the clinical enterprises academic and community medical centers. Vizient enables its members to pool resources, create economies of scale, improve clinical and operating efficiencies, and influence the direction and delivery of health care. Selected health system purchases are made under the auspices of agreements developed on the behalf of the Vizient membership.

Purchases and payment

Purchase orders are issued for officially authorized purchases of the UC Davis Medical Center. The medical center is not responsible for the payment of purchases made without an official purchase order. Staff members who direct vendors to proceed with the performance of any work or the delivery of any supplies without a purchase order do so on their own recognizance. Moreover, staff members may be held personally liable for any and all costs associated with unauthorized purchases. The health system is not exempt from state sales or use tax. Purchase orders include the address to which materials should be delivered and the address to which invoices should be submitted. After the receipt of supplies and/or services, vendors submit an invoice for payment. Vendors are instructed to prepare their invoices with the following minimal information to include the purchase order number, a description of goods or services furnished, quantities, unit prices, extensions, and payment terms. Incomplete or improperly prepared invoices can result in a delay of payment.

On-line ordering

Purchase requisitions for goods and services are created and submitted directly to the purchasing department via an online ordering system. The online system enables users to simply point and click data entries for supplies needed on a recurring basis, or to individually handcraft single-use purchase requisitions for services or one-time supply needs. The single exception to this policy involves capital projects. Hard copy processing of capital purchase requisitions ensures complete coordination with all the functions involved in complex and costly capital projects. Additional information regarding the online system may be accessed by referring to the Enterprise Resource Planning system's Web page.