Tag Archives: benchmarking

Supply Utilization Management (SUM) – Part 2: What it Takes to Achieve Improvement

Peter Cayan

By Peter Cayan, Vice President, and Tracey Chadwell, Senior Director, Advisory Solutions

In part one of our supply utilization management discussion, we began by defining the concept of supply utilization management and explained how so many aspects beyond initial price affect your true cost. In this post, we’ll review how you can build a culture to achieve sustained improvement in support of the quadruple aim of improving patient outcomes, improving patient experience, improving care team experience and lowering the overall cost of care.

An Intalere member at a regional medical center in the western U.S. uses an analogy to explain how to achieve “improvement” to his staff by using the sport of throwing darts. This sport requires practice and dedication, and the more you focus on throwing at the bullseye, the tighter the group will be over time. You might not ever get all the darts in the little red dot, but it will be pretty close.

This, generally, is the goal of any process improvement program – get everyone in the organization to throw those darts (products and services) as close to the bullseye as possible. Hence, maximizing the pursuit of “the aim.”

Utilization management is your bullseye and theoretically your darts could represent any of the products and services that exist within the organization. The end-state goal should define what it is the team wants to achieve. If the team is not involved in formulating the target plan, and goal, buy-in will be hard to achieve.

A key element of getting to “yes” here is the critical requirement of having a defined, transparent and measurable decision-making process. Without this key fundamental team process, all bets are off for hitting the bullseye. It takes the whole organization to make this happen. You want to stack the opportunities and build a standard for identifying prospective wins and tracking progress throughout the organization.

You must develop a function-oriented, systematic team approach for providing, designing or investigating the right functions (primary, secondary and aesthetic) for the products, services and technologies that are required to operate a healthcare organization. Your process should be one which:

  • Takes product/service/technology evaluation and management of supply expense from subjective to objective.
  • Uses a formal, customized and collaborative process.
  • Is data driven (related to clinical efficacy, safety, quality).
  • Is supported by clinical documentation and an evidence-based approach.
  • Determines true requirements/function/purpose.
  • Benchmarks against best practice.
  • Promotes the standardization of products that are clinically efficacious and provide the highest quality care, customer satisfaction and safety to patients in the most cost-effective manner.

Ultimately this builds a long-range planning process that identifies gaps in supply strategies and is successful in creating new behaviors that allow for adaptation, evolving policies and procedures that tackle hurdles threatening success and ultimately yield savings that are real and achievable.

We Can Help. Intalere helps you better understand the strategic nature of supply chain and provides resources that can assist in bringing efficiency and savings to every area of your supply chain. Reach out to see how we can help. Contact Customer Service at 877-711-5600 or customerservice@intalere.com or your Intalere representative.

12 Things Healthcare Must Achieve Flash Video Series – Leverage Analytics

Julius Heil, President and CEO, IntalereBy Julius Heil, President and CEO, Intalere

The old saying goes, “you can’t improve what you don’t measure.” Physician engagement is in many ways rooted in data and so is pretty much any process affecting your healthcare facility. I like to say there are two kinds of businesses – those that are gathering and leveraging analytics to improve, and those that don’t know they are extinct yet.

But a single clinical record is not enough. Even major investments in big data, machine learning and AI are not necessarily enough. For maximum positive impact, clinical and financial data must come together to understand value. Benchmarking is critical, and further, a single platform for financial planning, analytics and performance are optimal.

One of the biggest reasons for unrealized success is that organizations don’t create a well-defined digital health and analytics strategy.

The true value from analytics then comes from translating insights into action. Among the most critical struggles hospital supply chain executives face today is not truly knowing fair market prices for the goods they are purchasing on an everyday basis. This is due to a pervasive lack of information – or a lack of cost transparency – about the fair market value of medical and surgical supplies. This past year, we introduced Intalere OptiPrice Advantage, which utilizes medical surgical product pricing data submitted monthly by more than 650 hospitals from across the country to the Intalere OptiPrice Advantage database, which is refreshed daily.

Intalere OptiPrice Advantage works by taking closed receipt data (as purchase order (PO) data changes often) and categorizing it. Customers can see the EXACT price they are paying in comparison to other providers. They have the data points needed, through comparison to other hospitals/systems, as strong negotiating leverage. The data includes:

  • Internal market share.
  • Annual spend.
  • System size.
  • No data older than 7 months.
  • Rebates

Within two weeks of implementation of this tool, one of our members was able to achieve a savings of more than $110,000 on drug-eluting stents. This is just one example of the opportunities available for savings on only one product.

Check out the latest video, Leverage Analytics, in our Flash Series and stay tuned in the coming weeks for more posts and videos about 12 Things Healthcare Must Achieve.

You can also download the executive briefing at Intalere.com.