We have observed or have participated in hundreds of healthcare value analysis meetings over the years and have identified one thing you can do today to dramatically improve your hospital’s value analysis meetings.
It’s actually a very simple communication tool which is often neglected or given short shrift in the hustle and bustle of everyday hospital supply chain management.
Powerful Tool for Your Hospital’s Value Analysis Teams
I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. This important tool is an agenda, but with a few twists that will keep your hospital’s value analysis teams on time, on budget, and on target for many years to come. Agendas are generally thought of as a list or outline of things to be considered or done in a meeting, but they can be much more than this if you decide that they are designed to be “action-oriented” vs. passive.
By this I mean that every agenda item you place on your agenda must require an action (i.e., approved, rejected, or investigated), not just a discussion. This way you can institutionalize this best practice of making decisions quickly as opposed to discussing topics ad infinitum.
This rule goes for follow up agenda items, too! You should have a comment section on your agenda showing the action you expect on the follow up item, such as, Julie to observe IV starts and then report back at the July 12th value analysis team meeting on the effectiveness of the securement device now in use. Never leave anything to chance, interpretation, or uncertainty on your agendas and you won’t be disappointed with the results.
What Healthcare Value Analysis is All About
As an aside, we see too many hospitals using their value analysis meeting agendas to communicate new supply chain policies, procedures, or dictums, which isn’t what a hospital value analysis team is all about. Value analysis is all about saving money and improving quality – that’s all! If you need to communicate to your customers about hospital supply chain issues, then you need to find another vehicle (e.g., newsletters, e-mails, memos, etc.) to do so.
You will also need to set time limits on the discussion on each agenda item to keep your value analysis meeting moving. We have all been in VA meetings where the team leader only gets through one, two, or three agenda items (out of 12) because the conversation has been dominated by one or two individuals who eat up valuable time with their opinions. This is impossible to do if you have a time limit on each agenda item. For instance, the first agenda item could have an eight-minute time limit, the second five minutes, and third 12 minutes, based on their importance and relevance of topic. Then your total agenda items should add up to a one-hour time limit for the meeting overall.
Stay on Topic
Lastly, don’t allow any value analysis team member to bring up a topic that is not on the agenda. It will throw your team off their VA game and lead them in another direction that hasn’t been vetted, scrutinized, or approved to be on the agenda. More importantly, it will chew up valuable time you have set aside for other burning issues on today’s agendas.
As you can see, an agenda can be action-oriented and bring you closer to your value analysis committee/team meeting goals, or it can be a passive, unstructured, and unmanaged document that will just frustrate all of your attendees and drag out your VA meetings endlessly. So, take a tip from me; agendas can work overtime for you, but only if they are action-oriented.
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