I received a call last week from a supply chain professional who was reading an issue of our Savings Beyond Price™ Newsletter and he wanted to know more about the hospital value analysis best practices that I talked about in this article.
After thinking about an answer to this supply chain professional’s question, I realized this was a tall order since it is dozens of big, small, and nuanced value analysis best practices we have learned or observed over the last 34 years that make hospital value analysis teams successful.
I decided, as a starting point, to answer this question with the five uppermost best practices that make hospital value analysis teams hum, prosper, and achieve which are as follows:
1. Strategic Planning Driven: Too often, after value analysis teams are formed, they are asked by their senior management to “go save money” and have little else to guide their way. This is the worst advice you could give to a value analysis team since what they really need is a vision, mission, goals, and a plan to make savings happen. Consequently, big and sustainable savings won’t happen if value analysis teams aren’t given a well thought out strategic value analysis plan to guide their way.
2. Value Analysis Steering Committee: Left to their own devices, value analysis teams will lose their way without the direction and guidance provided by a value analysis steering committee. The steering committee membership should be comprised of your hospital’s senior management who have a vested interest in seeing your hospital’s value analysis program succeed.
3. 40 Hours of Training: Hospital value analysis is an art and science; therefore, practitioners need up to 40 hours of training and coaching to be proficient in this discipline. If you decide not to train your value analysis team leaders and members, you will pay the high price of only skimming the surface of realizable savings and hit the wall on new savings opportunities altogether.
4. Outcome-Based Results: Setting predetermined savings and quality goals annually is the engine that keeps your hospital value analysis teams on track, on budget, and on time with your value analysis initiatives. This then enables you to measure, manage, and control your value analysis teams’ outcomes each year, as opposed to hoping that savings will happen on their own without vigorous controls over your outcomes.
5. Team-Based Project Management: Most value analysis teams are really structured as committees, not project teams, since this slows down their productivity, erodes accountability, and promotes group think. A much better way is to consider each member of your hospital value analysis team as a project manager for each of your projects (i.e., savings initiatives) who is then held accountable for predetermined outcomes. This one change in your team structure will transform your value analysis teams into a saving machine – almost overnight.
As it is with any maturing discipline, there are dozens of best practices to choose from to improve and enhance your value analysis team’s performance. However, these five best practices that I have outlined herein are at the top of my list as the most inventive, impactful, and transformative of the scores that are available to you today.
Why not try just one of these best practices this month to see if it doesn’t make a big leap forward in your value analysis team’s performance. You have nothing to lose and everything to save by doing so.
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