Clinical supply integration or “giving control of your healthcare organization’s supply chain expenses to the people who have the most influence over it – your clinicians” is more than a touchstone. It should be considered mission critical if you are to be truly successful in effectively managing your clinical supply expenses. However, these three mistakes should be avoided in doing so:
3 Mistakes in Clinical Supply Integration That Make Your Job Harder
1. Believing That Your Value Analysis Teams Fill This Role. Even though a value analysis team’s membership is composed mostly of clinical members, these individuals are only consulted on the appropriateness of new product, service, and technology purchases and new group purchasing contracts. They aren’t generally asked to evaluate current supply chain expense practices that could be wasteful, inefficient, or out of date that affect their clinical operations. That’s why expanding the scope of your value analysis agenda to broaden your clinicians’ involvement in your supply chain practices can be beneficial to all involved parties.
2. Not Providing Consumption/Utilization Data To Your Frontline Clinicians. As we often mention, no clinical practice or behavior can be changed successfully without the agreement of the clinicians who own the product, service, or technology in question. That’s why providing consumption/utilization data (at least quarterly) to your frontline clinicians is key to having them change their problematic or questionable practices or behavior. For you see, we all like the changes we make ourselves based on our own data as opposed to being pressured to do so by an outsider.
3. Avoiding Sharing Peer Comparative Value Analysis Analytics With Your Clinicians. Another powerful persuasive change management tool is the sharing of comparative value analysis analytics with your frontline clinicians that compares their supply expense practices to their peers. For instance, some time back we shared peer consumption data on contrast media doses with a client’s medical director who was leery of making changes to his contrast media doses until he saw that his peer’s community standard was much lower than his current doses. This data smoothed the way to lowering his doses to match the community standard without any resulting pressure or arm twisting.
We all want to see our supply departments become more integrated with our healthcare organization’s clinical departments because it makes everyone’s job much easier. Yet, it won’t happen unless you hand over more control to your frontline clinicians by providing them with the data, comparative analysis, and input that is necessary to unify your supply chain department more closely with your clinical departments.
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