May 29

The Worst Number is One When Performing Hospital Value Analysis Studies


If you are performing a hospital value analysis study of any type (i.e., new products, cost savings, standardization, quality improvement, etc.), you need to have more than just one option. Below is a list of real-life truths that all pertain to making decisions or acting on just one piece of information, evidence, or benchmark.

Having Only One Piece of Evidence for a Hospital Value Analysis Study Isn’t Enough

A New Product Request with Only One Supporting Evidence Document/Report – Adding a new modality to any hospital or health system is difficult enough, but adding something new with little or no evidence to support this change is even worse. You have to ask yourself as a supply chain and/or value analysis professional whether this one piece of evidence is good enough to be making a decision that will affect patient care, revenues, etc.

Only Having One Product Option – One of our value analysis mantras when we train new and experienced value analysis teams is that you must have three viable options that meet your functional specifications in order to truly perform value analysis. One of those options can be the incumbent product or service, but that means that you should have at least two more. If you only have one product option, then you are very limited in scope for your organization or perhaps the product is too new. You will want to avoid this as much as possible. However, there are instances where the new vendor owns the marketplace and there is no foreseeable competition for some time.

Adding a New Product that Only Has One Reference to Call – Do you really want to be the first or leading edge of a new product that only has one reference to call? I know these products must start somewhere in health systems and there may be special instances where you are the only health system offering a procedural option for your patients which can garner more revenues. I would not want my health system to take that risk of something going wrong with a new product that will more than likely need to work through some twists and turns. Let other organizations take that risk to which you can then reference the two, three, or even 20 health systems on this new product’s reference list a year from now if it is successful.

Making a Major Change Based on Just One KPI/Benchmark – Benchmarks and KPIs are great tools to assist you with your savings and quality improvement strategies but there is more to this than meets the eye. I would not recommend that any organization change how they do business with just one benchmark/KPI that points to a change. You will need to have multiple benchmarks/KPIs that cover the entire 360-degree view of this change before you should consider this value analysis change.

Triangulate Benchmarks

We owe it to our customers/clinicians to make sure that we are triangulating benchmarks for them to make great decisions on changes. If your cohort peer benchmarks show that you are running 40% over cohort average and your year over year has gone up by 39% while best practice hospitals of your size and type within your health system are 30% better than your hospital, then that change is justifiable. Three benchmarks point to further reviews and/or value analysis guided changes, and then you have all the backup you need.

There could be instances where the rule of just one can apply to a hospital value analysis and/or supply chain study, but the bottom line is that in your day-to-day projects and reviews, one is the worst number. This rule is worth its weight in gold with regards to quality, cost savings, and risk management.

Below are some similar articles that you may find interesting.

Why Do Leaders Feel Training is Not a Strategic Advantage to Your Value Analysis and Supply Chain Programs?

Proof, Proof, and More Proof – When That is Still Not Enough

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Request Demo of SVAH’s Value Analysis and Utilization Tools


benchmarking, benchmarks, cost management, cost savings, healthcare supply chain, Healthcare Value Analysis, hospital supply chain, Hospital Value Analysis, new product requests, quality improvement, standardization, supply chain, value analysis

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