Robert T. Yokl, President/CEO, SVAH Solutions
One of the missing elements in most healthcare organizations’ value analysis methodologies is a value analysis job plan, or as Larry Miles, the father of value analysis, says, “A system for use when better than normal results are needed.” This would be the system that each of your value analysis project managers would follow religiously when evaluating, justifying, or investigating any new or existing product, service, or technology. This one thing (a system) could make the difference between a good vs. a great value analysis program at your hospital, system, or IDN. Don’t overlook or disregard this powerful idea!
Why Do We Need a Job Plan or System in Value Analysis?
In short, to prevent your value analysis project managers from “winging it,” you need to have a defined, repeatable, and audible system to guide your VA project managers through their value analysis studies. Remember, if you don’t have a value analysis system, your VA project managers will devise their own VA systems which are typically poorly designed and missing the core elements of a scientific study.
Here are the key elements of a job plan/system that you need to emulate for a great value analysis program:
- Clearly describe system or process to be followed.
- By defined, we mean that you have a distinct process with a number of steps (1,2,3…) that your value analysis project managers are to follow on each and every value analysis project they accept.
- Can be repeated again and again without fail.
- Each of your value analysis studies need to be conducted in the same manner so that you can have consistent, reliable, and uniform VA studies.
- Able to examine system or process for conformity.
- If your VA studies are defined and repeatable, they can then be audited for conformity, compliance, and additional savings opportunities.
These three attributes are the building blocks for a scientific value analysis process that will upgrade the consistency, reliability, and quality of your value analysis studies almost overnight.
Classic Value Analysis Job Plan/System to Model
The classic value analysis job plan/system espoused by Larry Miles can have a number of phases from the beginning to the end of your VA study. Review the typical five-step job plan/system for a successful value analysis study every time.
Within each phase you would have a number of sub steps to follow to complete each phase and link one to the another. For instance, the Information Phase consists of four sub steps: collect data, define the scope of the project, determine evaluation factions, and determine sub team composition. For a complete guidebook on the value analysis job plan/system I would recommend Value Methodology: A Pocket Guide to Reduce and Improve Value Through Function Analysis @ GOALQPC.com.
Value Analysis is More Than a System; It’s a Money-Saving Machine
Value analysis has a 67-year history of saving money and improving quality at some of the largest organizations (General Electric, Whirlpool, Ingersoll-Rand, etc.) in the world. It is a systematic process used by multidisciplinary teams that healthcare organizations use to value justify what they are purchasing from their vendors and GPOs. However, VA can be more than just a system. It can be a money-saving machine if healthcare organizations would employ it to redesign and reinvent the products, services, and technologies they are buying now. So don’t limit the uses of value analysis; expand on its uses (i.e., new and existing products, services, technologies, and processes) so you can benefit from its many opportunities to save money and improve your healthcare organization’s quality.