January 23

Clinician or Non-Clinician for a Value Analysis Manager Role? A Few Key Points to Consider


“If you are a Supply Chain Leader considering hiring a Value Analysis Manager and weighing the pros and cons of each, you must keep this in mind…”

Let’s face it, there is no right or wrong answer to this question as every organization has different needs and qualifications and the candidates for the Value Analysis Manager role need to have relevant experience to take on that role. There will always be a debate on this subject. Of course, I am often asked the Clinician or Non-Clinician question from many C-Suite Executives, VPs, and Directors throughout the country. I have definite opinions on this subject.

First off, I have worked with highly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced Clinical and Non-Clinical Value Analysis Managers throughout the country. Many have come from nursing and others have come from other areas like Lab. On the other hand, the supply chain contracts and/or buyer VA Managers have been highly successful VA Practitioners as well. So, who do you hire moving forward? Below are some key points to consider on this ongoing subject.

1. You Have to Bring Something to the Table

Clinicians – The reason why there are so many nurses who are jumping into the Value Analysis Manager roles is that they bring the relevant hands-on experience with a good number of products and services that health systems use. Now, an ICU nurse cannot speak for OR products and vice versa, but who can really speak for all departments in a hospital? No one. Nurses have a huge learning curve in the supply chain contracting, group purchasing, and ERP software world. But, clinicians do bring something very relevant to the table which is the ability to “talk clinical” with the clinicians. Plus, nurses are in the circle of trust within the healthcare organization which is extremely valuable to supply chain departments that are heroes one day and zeros another if they don’t get a product to a department on time. Clinicians can bridge the gaps.

Non-Clinicians – Non-clinicians, like someone with a Supply Chain background, will come with knowledge and experience of contracting, group purchasing, inventory, and the ERP software that is used for procurement. They may also have experience or at least solid knowledge of how value analysis teams work at the health system, which is a big plus as well. There is the big intimidation factor that occurs with non-clinicians as they do not have the relevant experience to truly talk about a product from a first-person user’s perspective, which clinicians do.

2. More Important Than Any Experience You Bring to the Table – The most important thing that you have to come to terms with is that you are no longer a subject matter expert in the value analysis scenario. You can no longer speak for those customers who are requesting products, services, or new technologies. You are now the facilitator of your organization’s value analysis process, teams, and workflows. You are the gatekeeper of evidence-based functional analysis to manage risk, quality, cost, and utilization of the products that go through your value analysis teams. This takes a different approach, and you will need more training to do this.

3. The More You Know About Value Analysis, the More You Don’t Know – Value analysis is quite simply the study of function of products, services, and technologies and matching them to the unique requirements of your end customers while maintaining/improving quality and reliability. This seems simple, but you need to realize that there are so many nuances to the value analysis process that have more complex elements you must work with in an extremely dynamic healthcare environment. I am in my 32nd year of being a value analysis practitioner and trainer but I realized early on in my career that you can always learn new skills that you can bring to the table for value analysis at your organization.

4. Learn to Find Your Experts Early and Often – One key attribute we teach is that healthcare organizations are filled with subject matter experts in every product and service category. You need to learn to seek out and enlist your experts and stakeholders in the value analysis process right up front and then continue to keep them involved when the time arises. Having a coach to give you the insights and nuances of these products’ and services’ use patterns and requirements will give you so much more in terms of value to the value analysis process. This one element can help newbies and experienced VA professionals speed up the education curve on any and all products and services used at the system.

If you are a Supply Chain Leader considering hiring a Value Analysis Manager and weighing the pros and cons of each, you must keep one thing in mind. No matter who they are and what they bring to the table, you cannot just hire them and then tell them to go ahead and do value analysis. They are going to need training up front and then ongoing training/tools from there on if you want them to be successful and thrive in the years to come. Training is not always looked upon today as something that has a lot of relevant transfer to established value analysis programs at large systems. But I am here to tell you that the key is investing small dollars in training your Value Analysis Manager(s) in the most advanced strategies in value analysis today. By doing this, you, your team, and your value analysis program will have endless opportunities to achieve big and sustain your momentum through the long haul.

Below are some similar articles that you may find interesting.

Uncovering Value: Performing Non-Price Related Value Analysis on Clinical Products

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Ready, Set….Improve Your Cost Optimization Program in 2024!

Request Demo of SVAH’s Value Analysis and Utilization Tools


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