Automate to Innovate Your Value Analysis Program

Automate to Innovate Your Value Analysis Program

Most value analysis programs have a different level of maturity when it comes to automation. Too often, the use of spreadsheets is a substitute for real innovation because spreadsheets are easy to learn and use. However, spreadsheets will not provide the following features that are mission critical for your VA success:

Customized New Product Requests Portal: It wouldn’t be unusual for a healthcare system to have hundreds of new product requests annually. Therefore, it is necessary to have a structure to retrieve, triage, and approve or reject these requests that is visible to all involved parties. Automation can solve this challenge.

Value Analysis Team/Committee Project Management: To ensure your value analysis requests, new or renewal GPO contracts, or new technologies are properly vetted, you need to have a project management model to manage all requests. This can best be accomplished with VA software that helps you plan and monitor the progress of tasks within a VA project and across each of the VA projects in your portfolio. Track performance metrics (i.e. time spent, dollars incurred, savings, etc.) so you can compare and analyze data across projects.

Comprehensive Value Analysis Savings Reporting: If you aren’t saving money and improving quality and safety, then your VA team is falling short of its basic goals and objectives. More importantly, you need to justify your value to your senior management. This can be best achieved by reporting your successes to your senior management by project. This data can be automatically calculated as you report your savings on each VA project on an annualized or fiscal year basis.

Clinical Product Evaluation Surveys: Most requests for new products, services, and technologies require a clinical evaluation. This can best be accomplished with surveys built into your VA software. No need for paper surveys any longer!  Thus, enabling you to have more time for other important tasks.

Balanced Scorecard: It isn’t enough to just measure your VA project’s successes. You also need to measure intangibles like members’ absences at VA meetings, length of time to complete projects, customer feedback, etc. Your VA software can track all of these metrics for you in real time.

Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators: To ensure that you are reducing your costs to the lowest possible levels and meeting your qualifiable goals, benchmarks and KPIs are required to hold all parties accountable. These metrics can be calculated, stored, and compared in your VA software’s database.

Spend and Utilization Integration: In order to wring the towel dry on your savings, you will need to organize, categorize, and analyze your spend and utilization data to gain insight into your supply chain expenses beyond price and standardization. This can only be accomplished with sophisticated VA software.

Savings Validation Reporting: A savings isn’t a savings until it is validated. This should be a must have feature of your VA software, since you could be losing thousands of dollars of savings annually that you didn’t know existed.

Yes, you can continue to employ spreadsheets to collect, store, and save data for your VA program. However, if you do, you will be missing the benefits of scalability, data security, enhanced analysis, improved productivity, and better communications with all involved parties. That’s what “automate to innovate” is all about.

About Robert T. Yokl, Founder & Chief Value Strategist for SVAH Solutions
Robert T. Yokl is President and Chief Value Strategist at SVAH Solutions. He has four decades of experience as a healthcare supply chain manager and consultant, and also is the co-creator of the Clinitrack Value Analysis Software and Utilizer Clinical Utilization Management Dashboard that moves beyond price for even deeper and broader clinical supply utilization savings. Yokl is a member of Bellwether League’s Bellwether Class of 2018.

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