Providence St. Joseph Health, the giant nonprofit health system headquartered in Renton, said Thursday a plan to modernize and consolidate functions such as accounting, human resources and procurement will affect an estimated 700 jobs over the next six months.
Providence said it will tap three large professional-services firms as it makes changes and updates systems in the hope of improving service and saving costs it can reinvest in providing patient care.
Through mergers with Swedish Health Services in 2012 and St. Joseph Health in 2016, Providence has grown to encompass 51 hospitals, 829 clinics and some 119,000 employees in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico and Texas.
It had operating revenue of more than $24.4 billion in 2018, making it one of the country’s largest health systems.
The mergers and lack of investment in new administrative technologies have left Providence with a stable of outdated or duplicative systems. There are eight different human-resources systems, for example, said Providence spokesperson Melissa Tizon.
Providence hopes to remedy that by enlisting Accenture to modernize accounting and procurement systems; IBM for payroll, recruiting and other human-resources systems; and Deloitte for a cloud-based resource-management system.
The job changes and cuts, mainly in Renton and Irvine, California, amount to about 0.6% of the Providence work force, and will not affect patient care, Tizon said.
Providence, in a news release, said some employees may be able to transfer to the outside service providers. It said it will try to help others find positions elsewhere within the organization, which has some 9,500 openings.