Case Studies

Sisters of Mercy Health System

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Integrating Capital Planning, Budgeting and Purchasing at Sisters of Mercy Health System


Sisters of Mercy Health System is among the 10 largest Catholic health systems in the U.S. Headquartered in St. Louis, Mercy operates 19 hospitals, including 18 acute-care and one heart facility across a four-state region, which includes Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The health system employs more than 26,000 staff, and generates over $3.7 billion in annual revenue.


Sisters of Mercy’s existing capital planning and budgeting processes did not provide the information necessary to respond to the dynamic financial needs of the organization, or provide enough visibility into or control of the ongoing capital spending. Mercy wanted to implement a comprehensive management program to improve the management of capital spending, which totals approximately $498 million annually. Key objectives included the ability to:

  • Provide visibility into all capital needs across the health system
  • Control financial resources
  • Make better capital decisions by connecting planning, budgeting, spending, and post-acquisition review processes
  • Develop better capital purchasing strategies
  • Simplify work for everyone involved in the capital process

Mercy implemented VFA.spendManager™ capital spend management software to support integrated capital planning, budgeting and purchasing processes, enabling better prioritization of capital spending and forecasting of capital needs and cash requirements. The web-based system enables all stakeholders to document, forecast and track activities related to capital expenditures. The system was deployed across 1,600 users in less than five months.


Mercy now has a proactive and collaborative capital management process that provides enterprise visibility and control of all planned, budgeted, and actual capital expenditures. It can consistently and efficiently prioritize capital requirements during the budget process, and generate comprehensive and accurate cost estimates.

  • All sectors of the organization participate in reviews and approvals during the budgeting process, allowing for more accurate budgets and fewer surprises.
  • The time it takes to go from requisition to purchase order has plunged from an average of 30 days to less than five days. Orders are received up to four times faster.
  • Mercy can readily identified capital group purchasing opportunities, lowering the administrative and acquisition costs.

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