It’s tough to have to go back on a value analysis project, conversion, or cost savings implementation that you spent a good amount of time on, dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s on, got the result that you were looking for, and got it implemented. You figure your job is done but then you find out that the 12% savings did not materialize, or worse, that the cost has increased by 20% annually. It could be anything, such as the product failing or not living up to the quality standards that you thought you proved in the original nursing trials of the product.
Retrospective Value Analysis Reviews Can Happen at Every Type of Hospital or Health System
I was working with a large university teaching health system on a $650K savings opportunity on pulse oxisensors which was started because their cost per adjusted patient day was running too high. They had some waste and inefficient use going on with these, as well as potential for reusables and reprocessing. This hospital deployed the value analysis functional approach, brought in all the right clinicians, and took a good six months working through all the areas in the organization to customize the features of the sensors to each department from ED to Surgery (house-wide). They felt they had everything handled and had a supply chain person on the team to validate the savings moving forward. Project done and $650K saved with the possibility of more in the second and third year!
Because we had a continuing relationship monitoring their clinical supply utilization with this organization, in reviewing their pulse oxisensors category six months later with the director of supply chain, we noticed that not only did they not meet their savings goals, but they were trending to be $825K over. This would have been an almost $1.5 million cost increase overall with the original $650K not met and then an increase of $825K beyond that. Quite simply, the supply chain director just looked at me and said, “We’ll just need to get the value analysis team to revisit this and get it right the next time.” He saw the numbers himself and knew that there was no sense trying to make excuses or worry about the Clinical VA Team having to revisit this and perhaps take another six months. You just have to make it work.
The Perfect Value Analysis Project Does Not Exist – It’s Just the Latest Iteration that We Have Implemented
We have all been through this and the thought of re-working when we have so much new work is really something that you have to come to grips with. In the value analysis world, you just need to realize that there is no perfect value analysis project, it’s just the latest iteration that we have implemented. Think of the VA study process as software – there are many newer versions that are released in which we pick up new and different benefits (most of the time).
Take Pride in Being Able to Identify Past Issues and Fixing Them ASAP
The bottom line is, at least you found out about the product, service, or technology you implemented going sideways and were able to swing back and do a better value analysis job on this part of the project. The worst-case scenario would be that nobody notices or refuses to go back and look at a previous value analysis study with fresh eyes and a smarter perspective.
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