Robert W. Yokl, Senior Vice President/COO, SVAH Solutions
Let’s face it, we need everyone involved in our value analysis program to stay positive, stay the course, and, most importantly, stay motivated to keep working in the program. This is a challenge for many value analysis professionals who are leading and facilitating their healthcare organization’s value analysis program. Most value analysis programs do not have any form of rewards or recognition built into them for their value analysis team members so we must rely on other methods to keep our teams motivated.
It is important to remember that the members who are on your teams and committees are normally department heads, managers, and supervisors of their respective departments and value analysis is not their main job. One of the main reasons that value analysis teams/committees fail or fizzle out is that your team members lose interest in the program and stop coming to meetings or engaging in your true value analysis processes. Nevertheless, we need them to be heavily engaged in the program as much as possible. Senior management looks at value analysis as everyone’s duty as good stewards of our healthcare organization, so you really can’t count much on any monetary “motivation” in the form of bonuses. However, there are other ways to keep your teams motivated that you should consider.
Promote Your Value Analysis Team/Committee Members’ Successes
Every value analysis team produces great work on an ongoing basis, so why not promote this great work throughout your healthcare organization with positive articles. The articles do not have to be white papers or evidence level articles; they just need to be simple one, two, or three paragraph articles. These can then be published in your hospital’s monthly newsletters/magazines, blogs (yes hospitals do have blogs now), or submit these to industry magazines or associations for publication. You can also create your own value analysis newsletter to be distributed on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis.
The major benefits to publicizing your value analysis teams’ work is to ring praise down on those hard workers and key players who help make the savings and quality improvements happen. Everyone says that they don’t want to be praised in this manner but everyone does like to be recognized by their peers inside and outside their organization. Most articles, whether internal or external, are search engine friendly and it is fun for those involved in value analysis to search their own name and see a positive article about value analysis come up.
Develop Rewards for Your VA Program That Cost Little or No Money
If you walk into any department in a hospital you will more than likely see all the awards that they have received over the years in meeting key goals organizationally, or through their associations for their specific modality. Awards have significant meaning to healthcare organizations and to the individuals that lead these departments, as you will see their awards posted on their walls as well. Work with your supply chain director and/or VP to see if you could find about $200 to add to the budget each year to purchase awards and plaques for recognizing the success of the value analysis committee/team members. This is a relatively small amount of money to spend when your committee could be saving you $2, $3, or even $9 million a year.
More than likely, your healthcare organization already has a discounted relationship with a plaque maker company and you could put together a nice plaque for “Outstanding Contributions to Value Analysis Success – 2017” or something to that effect. You could then develop your own criteria or let your value analysis steering committee or senior leadership help craft and approve your standards and winners on an ongoing basis. Give the awards on at least a quarterly basis and continue to give these to ensure that you’re consistently motivating your value analysis team/committee members. If the award is significant enough, perhaps a special parking space (VA Employee of the Month or Quarter) could be made close to the hospital’s entrance for this team member. The cost is little or nothing but may mean a lot to the person who has access to it.
In this time of tight budgets and challenging value analysis studies that require even more collaboration and engagement from our value analysis teams/committees, as well as all the departments in the organization, it is good to develop some simple motivational plans for your value analysis program. Without motivated and engaged team/committee members, we go nowhere fast!