Supply and value analysis managers have been challenged with providing evidence to show where clinical departments’ supply costs are running over. Normally, when the supply cost overrun is brought to the clinical department managers’ attention in the form of spend totals, their first reaction is that patient volumes or acuity was high for the period. That is where the conversation usually ends and that is where huge dollars are tied up in your hospital’s supply chain. What our empirical experience has shown us is that there are three ways to have more effective clinical supply integration insights for your clinical departments so that they will be encouraged to change their behavior as follows:
3 Ways To Have More Effective Clinical Supply Integration Insights
1. Provide Their Own Historical Data: There is no better evidence than to provide your clinical departments with their own historical data that they can’t dispute or deny since it is their own statistics. We find that it is an excellent methodology for identifying favorable and unfavorable trends.
2. Help Them Visualize Their Variances: Show them graphs, bar charts, timelines, etc. that are user friendly to clearly explain why they need to change their behaviors. Studies show that 65% of people are visual. Therefore, most people can understand their data when it’s displayed graphically, not statistically.
3. Compare Them To Their Peers: Lastly, compare them to their peers so they know that they are out of step with their clinical community best practices. This is an especially powerful technique with physicians who want to be in lockstep with their peers.
If you employ these three clinical supply integration insight tactics in tandem, you will find that your clinicians will make the changes you are recommending without twisting arms or creating tension 95% of the time. The other 5% of your clinical staff will take a little longer.
Clinical Departments Are Not Cost Management Adverse
From our experience, clinical departments are not cost management adverse. On the contrary, they will help manage their costs and quality but require solid evidence when it comes to their major and minor product category overspends. Supply and value analysis managers have been able to keep costs low for many years with various value analysis and contracting strategies but there comes a time when your clinical departments must learn where they need to do better. That’s why supply chain now needs to provide the tools, training, and leadership to help your clinicians control their own supply expenses right at the point of origin.
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