I can’t tell you how many times physicians and department heads have “pushed back” on the comparative data that we have presented them to improve their supply chain expense management performance. They will assert that their hospital is different, that our metrics must be wrong, or we have missed some nuance in their operations that is making their KPI appear too high. This is a challenge we all face with our customers if we want to employ comparative data to improve our supply chain expense management.
On the opposite side of the coin, we have found no better way to improve a healthcare organization’s supply chain expense management than by using comparative data to spur their physicians and department heads to action. As an illustration, when one of our client’s value analysis coordinators brought to the attention of her cardiologists the comparative data (using graphs, charts, and statistics to get her point across) that their drug eluding to bare metal stent insertion ratio was three times higher than the national and regional average, these same cardiologists corrected their behavior, saving the hospital $126,999 annually. This achievement would never have happened without the comparative data to back up the assertion that the cardiologists were over utilizing drug eluding stents in their medical practice.
The secret to getting your physicians and department heads to believe in and then act upon your comparative data is to get them to fully engage in the benchmarking process up front. Have them help you design your metrics, select benchmark partners, and evaluate the results of your studies. We have found with few exceptions that by having these individuals actively participate in this type of benchmarking exercise that the barriers to resistance to change will quickly come down.
As I see it, as the effects of the new healthcare reform bill start to negatively hit your bottom line you will need to be using comparative data more than ever before to weed out all of the waste and inefficiency in your supply chain expenses that is now hidden from your view. The best way I know to do this is to engage your physicians and department heads in reducing your supply chain expenses by sharing comparative data with them so that they can help you make positive change happen.