December 12

Crucial Benefits of Having Your Own Automated Clinical Supply Utilization Benchmarking System


“The potential is endless with a clinical supply utilization benchmarking system!”

I don’t like to guess or speculate whether a hospital and/or health system is running high, just doing okay, or is at best practice levels with their expenses. You don’t want to have any category of purchase sneak up on you and have some internal or external report showing you running much higher than you need to be or even worse, not being aware of this. It’s already difficult just handling the day-to-day business in the healthcare supply chain world, let alone trying to figure out in-between contracts or even before a new contract is due whether there is major opportunity for cost and/or quality optimization.

There are some huge benefits that we see with our clients that you can have with these systems in place that you should know about.

Benefits of Having Your Own Automated Clinical Supply Utilization Benchmarking System

Peace of Mind Because You Have Your Bases Covered – Many organizations knowingly choose not to implement any type of CSUM benchmarking system as they don’t want to get to that level of detail or just don’t care to know. If you are one of those who choose to have a CSUM benchmarking system in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that there is a fallback position for you and when needed you will have it ready to go. For example, a large health system had our CSUM system in place for a number of years and kept it updated but has only recently started drilling into the details and the benchmarks as the timing is right for their organization. We were brought in with the vision of their Supply Chain VP and Director of Value Analysis that knew that having these benchmarks will aid them in the near future, and the future is now for them.

It’s Not Always About Cost with Benchmarking – Many times, benchmarking reveals hospital departments that are overconsuming on various products that are not in the norm. For instance, if your hospital is using 65% more foley catheters/trays than your cohort peer hospitals, then you will want to know about this due to the highly important urinary tract infection rates. More catheters mean more changes and perhaps you could unknowingly be opening these closed systems more often than needed and thus causing UTI issues.

When You Share the Benchmarks with Clinicians They Want More – Interestingly, when you start sharing clinical supply utilization benchmarks with your end clinicians and physicians, you would think they would hate looking in the mirror on their usage patterns, but this has not been the case. In a recent meeting when sharing several different perioperative and nursing key performance indicators, the clinicians started asking for adjustments to be made to the numbers and the end data to help give them an even better understanding of where they stand as well as actionable proof.

Benchmarks are Evidence – There are many different types of evidence in our industry, but rest assured that there is no better evidence than making an apples-to-apples comparison with other like-sized and like-characteristic hospitals in any supply or service category. We are not talking about just comparing one or two, but entire cohorts with the same timeframes and similar vendors as well. The key here is to determine whether you are running at cohort best practice levels, need to monitor further, or need to act immediately as something is clearly out of sync. There is power in knowing this.

The Potential is Endless with a Clinical Supply Utilization Benchmarking System

There is so much potential with organizations embracing the Clinical Supply Utilization Benchmarking concept and building or buying systems to truly give themselves a 360-degree view of all of their major supply and purchased service categories. It does not matter whether you are a stand-alone hospital or a large system, there are multitudes of cohort benchmarks and key performance indicators that will steer you in the right direction every time. Not to mention, they will also point out where you have superior performance in many categories, and you can commend those areas on a job well done. The potential is endless with a benchmarking system!

Below are some similar articles that you may find interesting.

Top 5 Tips for Smart Purchased Services Decisions

Podcast 85 – When is the Right Time to Evaluate a Major Product or Service Category?

4 Critical Success Factors for a Clinical Supply Utilization Management Program in Order to Get Major Results

Request Demo of SVAH’s Value Analysis and Utilization Tools


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