Healthcare providers are used to functioning under a “do more with less” mandate. However, value-based reimbursement under the ACA is raising the stakes even higher, prompting providers to consider both immediate treatment needs and long-term avoidance of additional treatment in their patient care plans. Investing in exactly the right inputs to achieve successful, long-lasting outcomes requires meaningful data, caregiver consensus, and, most importantly, a clear decision-making process that communicates clinical needs to the supply chain team. Factor in organizational silos or communication barriers, and healthcare’s new reality seems overwhelming at best. The good news is that value-based care is not impossible. But it does require that hospitals and health systems think differently about how various hospital departments’including supply chain’impact overall patient care strategy.
Supply chain? Care strategy? You bet. The new normal for healthcare demands strategic alignment among all hospital and health system stakeholders, from clinical to finance to purchasing. And the best way to bring these collective interests together is through value analysis.
At its best, value analysis brings together cross-disciplinary teams from throughout an institution to evaluate the effectiveness of products and services. In other words, a value analysis team reviews current product decisions to ensure that the hospital is delivering the right product to the right patient at the right time in order to positively impact patient care and quality. A multidisciplinary value analysis team that includes representatives from hospital administration as well as clinical and supply chain staff ensures that the key stakeholders are involved, resulting in realistic action plans and effective, system-wide communication.
The last dimension of value analysis considers price — that is, what’s the appropriate level of input investment based on corresponding patient outcomes. Value analysis challenges the idea that newer is always better, seeking empirical evidence to validate whether higher-priced products bring greater value when factoring in both immediate and long-term results. Value analysis is a proven strategy for constructing the most efficient, cost-effective supply chain, which can have a positive effect on clinical, fiscal, and administrative performance – the healthcare trifecta. When empowered clinicians collaborate with supply chain professionals using outcomes data, impactful decisions can be made at the leadership and organizational level that will offer long-lasting results.
Value analysis sounds like a lot of work – and it is. But the alternative is worse: tracking down disparities in supplies and spend through organizational silos to determine whether proof or preference is the driving force behind product decisions. By adopting a value analysis approach, you’re providing the various stakeholders at your hospital with the foundation and the tools to build a robust, collaborative, evidence-based process for decision-making that marries science to business, and costs to efficacy, safety, and quality.
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