As most organizations are starting to look at their plans for the new year, you may be considering upping your savings game with a Clinical Supply Utilization Management (CSUM) program which will give you that next level of savings you are looking for. In a perfect world, you would have a meeting with your VA leaders and tell them to start a CSUM program and presto, you have big savings. Unfortunately, there is more to CSUM programs than just calling the program a CSUM program, but it is a start!
This is not an article about getting your data in order or the strategic steps you need to follow. We have a no cost book that you can get on our website that will tell you how to proceed in that way. This is about those critical success factors of any program that you need to know, embrace, and be prepared for.
4 Success Factors of a Clinical Supply Utilization Management Program
1. You Are Going to Have to Look in the Mirror and It’s Not That Bad: Ten years ago when I would talk to supply chain and value analysis leaders and show them the level of savings and quality improvement that they could get to with a CSUM program, most hesitated. Why the hesitation? Because they did not have very good reporting or gut feel on where they stood and thus were leery of looking at their product and service categories in a comparable reporting system. They feared what they saw in the mirror. But most of our clients who wanted to take a hard look in the mirror realized that they were in control of everything related to CSUM and they liked deciding when, where, and why they would pursue a major savings opportunity or if they would not.
2. Proof, More Proof, and Even More Proof that the Savings Are Real: Let’s face it, it is difficult enough to come up with benchmarks and utilization/consumption reports to pinpoint where, why, and how a savings opportunity is real. Those customers and stakeholders of ours who are really the department heads and managers most of the time are all for change, until it comes to their departments. You will need rock solid proof in order for them to allow a value analysis project to happen in their department(s). Make sure that you have all of your data, benchmark KPIs, and evidence ready before you present to your VA teams and end stakeholders. I would recommend that it is better to take a few weeks longer to put all of your reporting together to present a case for change or at least a VA Study.
3. Has to Be Patient Volume Centric: Hospitals are all about the patients, and everything revolves back to patient volume in every area of the organization when it relates to the consumption of products, services, and technologies. Trying to tell a Cath Lab Manager that they are spending $225K more in balloon catheters this year as opposed to last year is not going to go far as they will just brush you off with a patient volume centric excuse, such as, “We are busier than we were last year!” If you don’t come in comparing Cath Lab Balloon Cost Per Cath Lab Case, your findings will be meaningless to that key department head. Every product category has a metric, use them.
4. Show Them the Good News First: Clinical Supply Utilization Management is not all bad news or calling for changes in all things. Every health system has best practices right within their system but may not know about it because they are not truly reporting out the results. Sharing the good news first is something that will give them confidence in the CSUM system you are deploying. Then they will not doubt you as much when you do bring realistic savings opportunities up for them to review.
It Is Better to Be a Leader in Clinical Supply Utilization Management
I could go on and on with the nuances of CSUM and what you need to look out for, but I wanted to highlight these areas that I thought would be most helpful to you in your CSUM program start up. There is no doubt that you will find these to be of great help to you. Remember, it is better to be the leader in a CSUM program that you present to your senior management than to let them dictate what needs to happen next.
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