If you haven’t realized it by now, it’s the little tweaks, changes, and improvements to your hospital’s value analysis process that can make the world of difference in your VA team’s performance. Here are four little known techniques to enhance your value analysis process that can be implemented almost overnight:
1. No Ownership of VA Projects: Whether you are employing a team or committee value analysis model, your VA project managers shouldn’t have ownership of a product, service, or technology project assigned to them. For example, your operating room manager shouldn’t be the project manager to investigate or justify a new requested operating room eye pack. It should be assigned to a project manager that works in another department, such as obstetrics, to avoid territoriality. However, your operating room manager will be on the VA Sub-Team (see technique #3) that is investigating this new product, so they have input into the decision.
2. 90-day VA Project Deadlines: No VA project should go beyond 90 days without the approval of your Value Analysis Steering Committee. This is the appropriate time for your VASC to review the progress of the overdue VA project, discuss the challenges/solutions to close the project, and then approve a renewal of the project with a specific new deadline. The reason for employing this technique is that I have seen VA projects go on for one year or more without being completed because no one was pressing, nudging, or requiring the VA project to be closed.
3. Creation of VA Sub-Teams: We are champions of VA Sub-Teams composed of customers, stakeholders, and experts of the product, service, or technology under investigation or being vetted vs. one person taking the lead on a VA project. The reason for this VA Sub-Team concept is that it is a surefire methodology to ensure you aren’t missing a key person in your VA study and have input from those who use, influence, or contribute to your patients’ safety and satisfaction.
4. Selection of Heterogenous VA Teams Members: Traditionally, value analysis team or committee members were selected by their title (e.g., Director of Operating Room, Infection Control Nurse, Director of Supply Chain, Biomedical Engineer, Director of Nursing, etc.) instead of by their unique team competencies (e.g., motivated, organized, analytical thinker, dependable, enthusiastic, etc.). We call the latter approach a heterogenous team membership which you should strive for in your selection process. By doing so, you will have exceptional, diverse, atypical value analysis team members in place of the usual suspects.
Value analysis is more than forming a team or committee and saying, “Go save money.” It is an art and science that needs to be tweaked from time to time to make it better than just good. That’s why small incremental changes can be so powerful, productive, and empowering to all involved in your value analysis process.
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