uct impacts current patient populations or how new technologies could open up new service opportunities. Partnering with physicians and working collaboratively helps appropri- ately address any issues or questions related to products or services. They support Supply Chain and help us get things done. We can go straight to the physicians to understand what works well and what needs to be improved. They are our valued partners of Supply Chain.

Conversely, what benefits can physicians and surgeons gain by working with Supply Chain to identify and evaluate new technology? Terri Nelson, Director, Val- ue Analysis, Mayo Clinic: Physicians are realizing that “expense management” is not a bad thing. Rather, physicians are considering financial impact as part of the care equation. As healthcare organizations feel more financial pressures and weather lowered reimbursement, we can collectively choose not the cheapest products, but rather the most ef- fective products. Physicians work with supply chain to look at value analysis, technology at- tributes and patient outcomes to find the most clinically effective and cost-efficient options. Now physicians enjoy a productive relation- ship with Supply Chain, where both parties work together early to find positive solutions. Physicians now feel they are being heard. HUTCHENS: Physicians now see and un- derstand the critical information that Supply Chain can provide that a sales rep doesn’t give them. We give them third-party clinical per- spectives, financial analysis, price benchmarks and other insights that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Another benefit comes in the area of bud- geting for new technology. We track changes related to new technology to understand the ROI and demonstrate how a new technology is improving care and lowering costs.

Theoretically, physicians and surgeons want the “best” products to provide the highest quality care while Supply Chain also wants care delivered cost-effectively. Why the disconnect and how might it be eliminated? NELSON: Supply Chain now brings evidence- based purchasing to the table. Value Analysis departments can synthesize literature to look at evidence and outcomes, and Supply Chain can now more closely speak the same language as physicians and clinicians as a result. We’ve heard of other facilities that just hire value anal- ysis staff, but do not put the proper processes in place to help that value analysis staff interact with supply chain or physicians. Without those processes in place, it’s just another headcount. WELCH: In the past — and in some organiza- tions still today — physicians would request new technology and supply chain would

immediately say no because they were only looking at the cost of the product, rather than also considering clinical data, reimbursements, analytics, etc. If the decision is always just about cost then there will always be a disconnect. We have eliminated that disconnect by col- laboratively looking at the clinical and financial landscape when vetting new technology. In some cases, new technology, while it may cost more, improves patient outcomes and lowers overall costs. In other cases, new technology provides no incremental benefits. So decisions should be thoroughly reviewed from different angles by both physicians and Supply Chain working in tandem.Additionally, we follow up with physicians to understand how the product is performing. If it is not performing or delivering the value expected then we will take it out of the system. The goal is always to benefit patients and that result comes from collaboration.

What impresses a physician or surgeon the most about working with Supply Chain? NELSON: In our experience, it has been the leadership. Because of the collegial relation- ship between our Supply Chain leaders and the physician liaison who works with Supply Chain, Supply Chain is very well respected among the physicians and clinical staff at our organization. Supply Chain has also built re- lationships with the different practice chairs, and this has led to an environment of mutual respect and trust. WELCH: The data and insights we can pro- vide on products — they really appreciate the transparency and it builds a high level of trust between the two groups. We have also found that they appreciate it when Supply Chain reaches out to them directly with a problem or a question about the products they are us- ing. In the past we assumed they would be too busy. However we’ve found they appreciate and enjoy the direct contact. They also enjoy that Supply Chain can now provide data that includes clinical findings and outcomes. And they appreciate when we provide transparent timelines.

Conversely, what ticks them off? FRANCIS: The thing that will irritate our physi- cians the most is when they are not included in a purchasing decision. We never want a physician to hear about a decision after it’s been made. We want them to participate in the evaluation process. Physicians want to be fully engaged from the beginning so they have a complete understanding, can help implement new technologies and get their colleagues on board. HUTCHENS: They are frustrated when they do not have a seat at the table or when they do not understand how product decisions are made. They also are frustrated if they feel Sup-

ply Chain has not taken the time to understand the patient population they are serving. It’s critical that Supply Chain take the time to un- derstand their perspectives and clinical needs. Bottom line, Supply Chain has to remember that physicians have the responsibility for providing care to the patient so they should have a voice in product decisions.

How might the concept of value analysis/ management bridge any gaps between Supply Chain and physicians and surgeons? FRANCIS: Value analysis is absolutely a step in the process. Once that step occurs, questions the physicians may have had are now off the table. It’s important to keep the process consis- tent and rely on data findings. NELSON: Value analysis also helps Supply Chain stay consistent in its decisions. One of the worst things Supply Chain can do is im- mediately switch products after a decision is made when a physician complains. This under- mines the process. Instead Supply Chain is best served to engage value analysis when a physi- cian complains so everyone can understand the process and the rationale for the decision. Everyone may decide a change is necessary, but that decision should be deliberate and thoughtful. Ultimately, our collective goal is optimal patient care and outcomes. WELCH: Everyone handles this differently. We’ve found it invaluable to have clinicians embedded in our supply chain supporting our value analysis process. They assist with translating product features/benefits between clinicians and Supply Chain to help ensure communications are clear and consistent. When we have challenges with conversions or clinical applications of new products, they im- mediately speak directly with our physicians and clinicians to fully understand and address the issues. Finally, they are critical to successful new product conversions and implementa- tions. We could not be as successful without our value analysis colleagues.

Where does the emerging “repless” model for “physician-preference items” and new technology fit into the developing relation- ship between Supply Chain and physicians and surgeons? NELSON: I think the real question here is why is the supplier missing from this equation? Suppliers must also work in collaboration with Supply Chain and physicians. If all stakehold- ers can engage in the product development and marketing — moving sales out of the way — then we can support common goals of patient care. But all stakeholders must come together to build a relationship. HUTCHENS: The short answer is it is the wave of the future. We aren’t there yet, but I believe we will get there within the next two- to-five years. HPN • HEALTHCARE PURCHASING NEWS • July 2016 55

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64