By Julius Heil, President and CEO, Intalere
Sustainable success when it comes to supply chain initiatives, or truly any strategic initiative in a healthcare setting, is most likely achieved by involving representatives from all levels – executives, physicians, other clinicians and supply chain management – in the decision-making process.
Physician involvement especially is critical for understanding their concerns on maintaining quality of care, product ease of use, quality outcomes and product choice to suit patient needs. Physicians will be more supportive of cost-savings initiatives when they have worked together with materials managers and internal staff from the start through collection and analysis of data, benchmarking, identifying cost-reduction opportunities, supplier selection and custom contracting strategy development.
This exemplifies true clinical leadership and partnership. As an example, Intalere recently participated in a physician preference item cost reduction initiative with a large Midwestern academic hospital system. As part of the process, our experts participated in the facility’s clinical expert council, which was comprised of key physician stakeholders. (Most hospitals have this type of clinical gathering at least once a month.)
Meetings such as these are important in communicating to physicians not only the level of data and product knowledge, but the dedication of the organization in finding a best practice, collaborative solution.
Using this particular approach informs and clarifies with physicians that the goal is not to abandon products they might have previously preferred, but to work together to reduce the cost of products used, while maintaining or even enhancing clinical efficacy. In this particular situation, Intalere was able to help the provider reduce their physician preference item costs by $12 million.
Check out the latest video, Clinician Engagement, 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.