We just conducted a survey regarding the biggest challenges for hospital value analysis professionals and found that their #1 challenge is needing more help to get their job done efficiently and effectively. While this answer wasn’t a surprise, it is concerning since we see hospital value analysis practitioners taking on more responsibilities every day without adding FTEs. However, we do see a light at the end of the tunnel if value analysis practitioners embrace these three time and motion concepts:
1. Simplify Request Process: How many new purchase requisitions are you receiving every day, week, month, or year? Are they approved in your current year’s budget – per line item? If not, these new requests are not following a typical budget process and should be rejected out of hand. This tactic is the best way we know of to simplify and reduce your purchase requests down to a manageable number. For you see, only the most pressing product, service, and technology requests will be approved in your healthcare organization’s budgeted process, not just because it would be nice to have them.
2. Systemize Workflow Process: We see too many freeform value analysis workflow processes with too many handoffs, requiring too much information and too many approvals. A much better way is to have a standardized, repeatable, and auditable systemized workflow process that meets the needs of all customers, stakeholders, and experts without burdening them with minutia.
3. Automate Workflow Process: Eliminate paper processes by automating them, such as, automate notifications on actions taken on new product requests, savings and spend reports, customer surveys, and tracking and reporting key performance metrics. This automation will have the effect of streamlining your new product, service, and technology requests workflow and value analysis process. Automation can have the effect of deciding to go up an elevator vs. going up the steps to get your job done.
Value analysis has become a very mature function of supply chain management yet is still a stepchild when allocating resources to perform VA jobs efficiently and effectively. My suggestion is to take a hard look at this function to uncover where it can be simplified, systematized, and automated for maximum results. Remember, it is the entrance point of all new products, services, and technologies into your hospital, system, or IDN.
|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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