What’s inside:

This blog delves into the pivotal role played by implant data in healthcare value analysis.

We’ll cover:

  • What is a clinically integrated supply chain?
  • Engaging physicians in healthcare supply chain discussions
  • How value analysis fits into a hospital’s integrated supply chain management.
  • Then benefit of value analysis for value-based care
  • The benefit of value analysis in delivering quality healthcare.
  • The role of implant data in value analysis.
  • How technology supports value analysis evaluations

 

Let’s start by taking a step back and look at the context of value analysis in healthcare.

Value analysis is increasingly important to healthcare providers. Let’s look at the background to this and learn more about healthcare value analysis initiatives.

What is a clinically integrated supply chain?

There is a growing trend for healthcare providers to aim for a clinically integrated supply chain. This is a strategic approach that aligns the procurement and management of medical supplies, devices, and equipment with the clinical needs of the healthcare organization.

Modern healthcare is extremely complex and, as technology advances there is an increasing number of medical devices and surgical supplies available on the market. Operating room supply management is one of the largest expenses in a healthcare organization.

Healthcare providers, in their pursuit of best value and best quality of care, need a standardized way to evaluate these new products.

Engaging physicians in supply chain discussions

Engaging surgeons to participate in contracting discussions can be a difficult task. Many are very invested in their Physician Preference Item (PPI) choices and don’t want to waste time discussing alternatives.

But the tide is slowing starting to turn, and it’s often down to data.

The power of data is difficult to deny.

It’s objective.

It’s persuasive.

It’s enlightening.

 

The first step to engaging surgeons into supply chain discussions is therefore to educate them by using accurate data.

  • Data may be product based: For example, it could compare the range of vendors, the types of implants, the cost of implants per surgery, and the patient outcomes.
  • Data may be physician based: For example, it could show the different cost per surgery for the same procedure when carried out by different physicians.
  • Data could be patient based: For example, comparing patient outcomes, incidences of adverse responses while noting the use of different implants.

 

There are a range of clinical metrics and inventory insights that can be used to provide physicians with the bigger picture and this data often invites discussion without the need for too much effort.

The number one aim when compiling data to share with physicians is to make sure it is accurate. It’s best to present the data at the start of the discussion and ask for feedback. The physician needs to trust the data and see it as credible, so involve them in finalizing it. It’s vital to get the data right, not just to get the physician on board, but also to ensure decision-making is based on the real picture and not partial or poor-quality data.

Once reliable data is available this can be used to support management and operational activities.

Using a value analysis approach to improve the clinical integration of supply chain management is proving to be a successful strategy for health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to make better, more collaborative supply chain decisions.

We’ll now look into the healthcare value analysis initiative, to discover how it fits in with integrating clinical teams into the management of medical inventory.

How value analysis fits into the clinically integrated supply chain

The connection between a clinically integrated supply chain and value analysis lies in their shared goal of improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs. The value analysis process contributes to achieving a clinically integrated supply chain, with the ultimate aim being to meet the organizations goals.

Here’s how a clinically integrated supply chain and value analysis relate to each other and to the achievement of organizational goals:

 

Organizational Goal Connection between a clinically integrated supply chain and value analysis Desired Outcome
Aligning supply chain procurement decisions with clinical goals. A clinically integrated supply chain is where healthcare supply chain management collaborates closely with the clinical team, involving staff such as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare experts. This group of staff will work together to select, procure, and manage medical products and equipment that meet the clinical needs of patients. For the supplies used in patient care to be of high quality and appropriate for the specific clinical context while being a cost-effective option.
Engage physicians and other multi-disciplinary staff in supply chain value analysis Value analysis is a process within healthcare organizations that evaluates the cost-effectiveness and performance of products, services, and technologies. By integrating the clinical perspective into the supply chain, value analysis teams can make more informed decisions. They consider not only the cost of supplies but also their impact on patient outcomes and  patient safety. For healthcare organizations to optimize the value they receive from their supply chain investments.
Reduce the provider’s supply costs and make data driven purchasing decisions

 

Clinically integrated supply chains aim to reduce OR operating expenses and procedural room costs by eliminating inefficiencies and waste. Through the value analysis process providers can identify opportunities for cost reduction while maintaining or even enhancing the quality of patient care. The strategic selection of medical supplies, devices and implants that offer the best value, while enhancing patient care.
Facilitate product standardization

 

One example is to gain a better understanding of the cost and quality of physician preferred items (PPI) and to assess if certain implants have an advantage in terms of patient outcomes and the quality of care. To tackle physician preference card (PPC) variance while improving both quality and value.
Continually improve patient care The ultimate goal of both clinically integrated supply chains and value analysis is to enhance patient care with a perpetual inventory that matches patient needs. By ensuring that the right supplies and equipment are readily available and meet clinical standards, healthcare organizations can provide safer and more effective care to their patients.
Support value-based care goals

 

To improve payer reimbursement by lowering the costs while improving the quality of care. To reduce penalties and attract better reimbursement rates by meeting value based care criteria.
Achieve quality standards To demonstrate a high quality of care and mitigate risks relating to the use of medical inventory and implants in surgery and in doing so meet regulatory and quality standards. To operate compliantly and achieve high audit scores and feedback.

 

The ethos behind designing a clinically integrated supply chain that involves value analysis activities is to create a multi-disciplinary approach to boosting the quality of care while minimizing costs.

So, in essence, a clinically integrated supply chain and a value analysis program are the intersection where clinical practice meets supply chain management. One common trigger for moving down this path is when a provider moves to value-based care arrangements.

Let’s move on to discuss exactly what this is.

The benefit of value analysis for value-based care

In value-based health care (VBHC), providers are incentivized to meet specific goals, and may be penalized if they don’t meet them. One of these goals relates to the cost of care – where the aim is to maintain or reduce healthcare costs.

In a recent report from McKinsey & Co on the trajectory of the US healthcare industry, they “anticipate an accelerated adoption of value-based care as stakeholders, including a broader set of providers and payers, aim for enhanced care management and effective cost management … We expect to see continued cost optimization measures to tackle rising costs… and the application of technological innovation.”

In McKinsey’s article on the new era of value-based care, they conclude that, ”value-based care is a reality with potential benefits for everyone from patients, to clinicians, to investors.”

So, let’s now look at the role of a value analysis committee in supporting value-based care.

What is a healthcare value analysis committee?

A Healthcare Value Analysis Committee presents evidence-based data to a multi-disciplinary committee made up of managers, physicians, IT and innovation staff, who together assess the cost/quality of new products and technology. Input from distributors, GPOs and vendors can also be part of the process.

The value analysis committee looks at clinical, operational and financial data on the product. Data including product cost, surgical utilization data, patient outcomes and more will be debated in the committee as part of the evaluation.

According to AHVAP (Association of Healthcare Value Analysis Professionals) this organizational and data-driven approach to product selection and procurement, “contributes to optimal patient outcomes through an evidence-based systematic approach.”

TotalSense RFID Smart Cabinet for advanced implant tracking
TotalSense RFID Smart Cabinet for advanced implant tracking

How implant data is used to by Value Analysis Committees

Surgical implants can range from artificial joints and cardiac stents, as well as pacemakers and other sophisticated medical devices. By compiling implant data from several sources Value Analysis Committees (VACs) can use this information as an indicator of device integrity, surgical success, patient recovery progress, and post-operative complications.

This pooled product data can be helpful in evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of different implants used in the same surgeries.

The collection of full and accurate implant data by healthcare providers is becoming ever more important. This vital data has become an indispensable asset for effective healthcare value analysis and is leading providers towards more efficient, automated data collection systems at the point of care.

The role of technology in healthcare value analysis

The integration of implant data within the healthcare value analysis process is a vital step towards getting physicians and clinicians on board as part of a wider, multi-disciplinary team to practice collaborative, more comprehensive evaluation of medical and surgical products.

Implant data provides a comprehensive view of both patient outcomes and device performance. By harnessing this data and presenting it as part of a value analysis program, healthcare professionals can jointly make more informed clinical, operational and financial decisions.

A healthcare inventory management system needs to be fit for purpose if it is to support value analysis work.

Let’s look at three things providers should consider when looking to harness technology as part of a value analysis evaluation.

  1. Make data collection simple and easy. All too often achieving accurate data falls back on manual data entry when automated systems break down.
  2. Tackle data silos so that data from supply chain, clinical and financial sources can be shared and analyzed.
  3. Get quality analytics. Data collection is the first stage of the process, healthcare data analytics is the end goal, supporting valuable insights into the healthcare inventory.

 

Implant Data in Healthcare Value Analysis - Gain 15% profits! | IDENTI Medical

How to Ensure Full Implant Data is Collected

Implant data is vital to value analysis. Medical devices and implants can be some of the highest cost inventory used in the hospital. Added to this physician preference cards (PPC) often show a large degree of variance, so collecting data on this inventory can really boost quality and costs.

Many providers struggle to achieve full and accurate data collection at the point of care.

Some of the ways to improve surgical usage documentation are:

  • Implementing standardized documentation protocols for capturing implant data during medical procedures
  • Streamlining the implant tracking and data collection processes, ideally using electronic systems and automation to reduce the risk of omission or inaccuracies.
  • Ensuring real-time data entry to enhance the quality of data collection. Using an automated system at the point of use for surgical documentation – be completed during or immediately after procedures is known to optimize data accuracy.
  • Adopting new technology for data collection procedures, perhaps reviewing the existing hospital inventory management system, to ensure it can enhance inventory data, while reducing nurse supply chain administration.
  • Identifying key data points that support insight into areas such as stock levels, implant expiry management, case costs and utilization patterns. Central to these is the accurate tracking of medical implants while stored as inventory as well as at the point of care.
  • Improving interoperability to remove silos so that data is easily shared between systems for optimal reporting and data analysis.

 

IDENTI automated inventory management solutions for the surgical setting
IDENTI automated inventory management solutions for real-time item tracking and consumption documentation in the OR setting

Healthcare technology that supports value analysis activities

As mentioned, there are two important processes that ensure full inventory tracking:

  1. End to end implant tracking of all inventory
  2. Point of care consumption documentation of every reportable item

 

We’ll look at two market-leading products that provide real-time, reliable data that can support the value analysis of medical inventory.

Implant tracking technology

TotalSense is a UHF RFID smart cabinet that monitors and tracks all items stored in the cabinet. There is also a mobile version that transforms regular storerooms into virtual cabinets.

Implant tracking technology ensures that high-value medical devices, implants, and consumables are perpetually tracked, giving materials management staff full vision of their most valuable inventory.

Using an automated implant tracking system such as TotalSense will support healthcare cost reduction exercises by:

  • Providing full inventory vision so that procurement is based on actual stock levels
  • Automated requisitions are triggered by the system, preventing stockouts, which can either lead to cancelled surgeries or expensive just-in-time deliveries.
  • Expiry is automatically tracked so that soonest to expire items can be prioritized for usage – preventing inventory wastage.
  • Smart cabinets storing consignment inventory can support pay-as-you-go arrangements helping reduce cashflow pressures.
  • Supply chain stakeholders can have shared vision of the inventory preventing disagreements and supporting closer working relationships.

 

TotalSense item level tracking in OR and procedural rooms
TotalSense item level tracking in OR and procedural rooms

Point of care surgical supply documentation

Because far more inventory and surgical inventory items will arrive in the OR or procedural room than is actually used, it’s best to have a robust point of use system in place to record every item that is consumed.

Snap&Go uses image recognition and AI technology to transform surgical supply data collection into an easy, 3 second task. The system provides automated item recognition by tapping into a global SKU database, and shares all item and charge data with hospital systems.

Using Snap&Go, the most advanced point of use implant documentation system, will support healthcare cost reduction efforts by:

  • 100% item and charge capture for optimized billing and reimbursement.
  • Reducing inventory costs by ensuring procurement is based on real demand and using data for healthcare supply chain vendor contract negotiation.
  • Using precise surgical utilization data to streamline the inventory and reduce wastage and costs.
  • Pre-consumption safety alerts mitigate the risk of non-compliance with regulations and standards, and safeguard against expensive medical negligence litigation.
  • Full EHR for robust recall management that avoids liability and loss of reputation.
  • Improved perioperative team morale which can impact on nurse retention, due to quicker and simpler supply chain administration tasks.

 

Snap&Go - next generation surgical supply data collection using a computer sensor
Snap&Go – next generation surgical supply data collection using a computer sensor

The added value of high-quality data in healthcare value analysis – add 15% to OR profits!

In this article we’ve looked at why healthcare organizations are looking to achieve a more clinically integrated supply chain. Many providers are moving towards the value-based care approach, where value analysis programs play a central role.

Increasingly healthcare providers are looking to gain a better balance between the cost and quality of care.

According to studies on OR optimization, when cost-cutting and value-added exercises are carried out by healthcare organizations, profits can be boosted by 15% – perhaps $1 million dollars a year. There is much to be gained.

Value based care has been described as, “maximizing outcomes achieved per dollar spent”. Healthcare leadership are harnessing the power of their healthcare professionals to improve their financial health as well as to enhance patient care.

By having an inclusive approach to supply chain management, and harnessing a range of expertise withing the organization, providers can make smarter product selection choices that optimize patient outcomes, while providing the best business value.

If your organization is looking to achieve better quality inventory data to support a value analysis initiative, contact us to discuss how new technology can help you with this endeavor.

 

 

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About the author

Olivia Walker is IDENTI’s Global Marketing Director and has a wealth of experience in the health-tech sector. Her innovative marketing strategies have successfully driven IDENTI’s growth in multiple worldwide markets. Her strength is the ability to identify what truly resonates within the industry. She is passionate about building relationships and her expertise lies in creating meaningful partnerships with healthcare providers, distributors, and suppliers.
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