Four Keys to Running Your Healthcare Organization’s Value Analysis Program

Four Keys to Running Your Healthcare Organization’s Value Analysis Program

Everyone wants to run their own Value Analysis Program. It should be a goal for every value analysis professional who aspires to be successful in our field. Now herein lies the challenge, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to running, maintaining, and pushing forward your own Value Analysis Program. The old saying, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it,” certainly applies.

To run your organization’s VA Program, you will want to keep these four keys to success in mind as you work towards and/or are revamping your approach to how you manage your program.

1. Winging It Doesn’t Work – If you are going to manage your own Value Analysis Program, you better have a plan for how this is going to work. Surely there will be some sort of foundation already in place from your predecessor, but you will want to shape and form your own plans, goals, and objectives for your program for the short and long term. It is very tough to start with a blank piece of paper when your Value Analysis Program has already been defined and accepted at your organization, so I would recommend your plan start with what is already in place and then make small incremental adjustments/improvements that will make it even better. When your boss or a Senior Leader in your organization says to you that your VA program is fine the way it is, you must ignore them as every program needs improvements or they stagnate.

2. Find a Mentor – Everyone needs a coach/mentor to discuss ideas with or to give them advice. Remember the quote from the great UCLA Coach John Wooden, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts most!” This coach/mentor could be someone in-house like your Supply Chain Director/VP, or it could be someone outside your organization who has walked in your shoes and is open to being your coach throughout the process.

3. Fail Fast Then Learn from It – Value analysis is about experience. Training is important, but you really learn project by project, new product request by new product request, team meeting by team meeting, etc. In the value analysis world, nothing replaces experience, and most importantly, failing from time to time. I have been in the VA world for over 32 years now and the best learning experiences I have had are related to failures in my VA dealings with my clients. Remember, failing at VA is okay. Just pick up the pieces, learn from it, and then move on. Believe me when I tell you, the failures are well worth the valuable learning experience every time.

4. Don’t Get Caught in the Grind – I cannot tell you how many times I have seen VA Program Managers burn out within just one or two years of running their programs. Don’t let this happen to you! First, you have to recognize when the job starts becoming a grind and do something about it before you and your team starts feeling the burn. I had one VA Program Manager tell me that they fielded over 1,600 new product requests the previous year. My first thought was, “They are feeling the burn.” If something like this is happening to you, you need to address the why and what you can do to curtail the amount of new product requests that are coming through the pipeline. It’s like doing a mini value analysis study to figure out what is happening. Then, you could plan some small changes and curtail that number dramatically. Or, you could speak to your boss about the increases and the fact that you need one, two, or even three more people to handle the new product requests.

Let’s face it, running your organization’s Value Analysis Program is pretty cool, and my hat goes off to those who are doing it. Your goal should be to sit in the VA Program Manager’s chair, not just to keep it warm but to make sure that your program doesn’t just continue as it always has but that it thrives. You got this!

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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