While presenting a supply utilization savings report to a large community hospital’s chief operating officer and her supply chain committee members, which outlined the savings opportunities that were available to them, I had an epiphany.
In addition to the savings opportunities, the report also included areas in which this hospital exceeded the benchmarks, and in many categories they were the best practice hospital. What got my attention was that the COO thought it was important that her hospital not only investigate the savings shown on the report, but to also explore what exactly the best practices were that her hospital was employing, in areas exceeding the benchmarks.
She thought that knowing they were a best practice hospital in many areas of operations was great, but she also wanted to investigate their best practices in detail, because no one ever seemed to know what they were actually doing to achieve this best-in-class status. She felt it was shortsighted of her hospital to not learn the ins and outs of their best practices and turn them into a major advantage. Therefore, the COO didn’t want her healthcare organization to lose the opportunity to translate their best practices into protocols, share them with other departments, and where possible, engineer them for other areas of hospital operations.
What really resonates with me about this conversation is that while in the search for utilization savings opportunities, we need to understand our hospital’s best practices and those of other healthcare organizations’ as well. I know this to be useful, since I often contact our client hospitals to discover how they were able to achieve their best practice status and then translate this information into protocols to be emulated. You should do the same!