As we see it, there are two elements missing from most hospital value analysis programs that can not only optimize your VA program, but make your value analysis outcomes quicker, easier, and more effective. These two dynamic elements are value analysis analytics and observations.
1. Value Analysis Analytics (VAA): Why guess where your savings reside when a tried-and-true methodology (VAA) has already been developed to uncover where any and all of your price, standardization, and utilization savings reside? Otherwise, it’s like chasing a rabbit that will always outrun you.
Also, value analysis analytics will tell you if you have wrung the towel dry on any savings category, or if there are more savings to be achieved. For instance, if VAA tells you that $233,458 in savings is available in your endmechanical product line and you have only identified $93,229, then you know you need to look harder for these savings or check your VAA data, benchmarks, and computations again to make sure they are accurate. Either way, this process gives you an audit trail on your value analysis projects which will prevent your project manager from saying they can’t find any more savings.
2. Observations: This is one technique to uncover your savings opportunities, after your value analysis analytics points the way, which most value analysis team members avoid at all costs. Generally, the reason for this behavior is that your VA team members feel uncomfortable looking over the shoulders of their peers. Yet, this is the only way we know of to understand the behavior of your customers, observe waste and inefficiencies in their practices, and bring to light inappropriate utilization misalignments.
We have trained our clients to use this observation technique for over 34 years and it has opened our clients’ eyes to millions of dollars of savings that can’t be seen in a VA team meeting or sitting behind a desk. You must visit the department or unit who is using the product, service, or technology to understand what they are doing. We have gone so far as to map our clients’ processes, but generally this isn’t necessary because anomalies in most supply streams will surface with just one visit from a value analysis team member.
This isn’t hypothetical. This is how major companies (Lego, Nike, GE, etc.) are uncovering their customers’ wants, needs, and desires. You need to do the same to optimize your own value analysis program. Or, you could just be satisfied with only meager VA savings, VA projects that never end, and VA team members who do not show up for meetings.
We’re sure these aren’t the results you are looking for in your own hospital value analysis program. So, try something different and you might get different results!