Why Surgeons Must Participate in Medical Supply Value Analysis

Jimmy Y Chung, MD. Providence Health & Services

INTRODUCTION – Most hospitals utilize Value Analysis (VA) as a part of supply chain management for medical devices and products. Traditionally, these processes are run by nurse managers or directors without direct physician participation. This presentation will discuss the importance of physician leadership in the VA process, especially in the face of radical reforms in the healthcare delivery system toward creating more cost effective, high-reliability organizations.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES – Providence Health & Services hired a practicing surgeon as a full-time VA Director to develop a standardized physician-led VA process for the system's 34 hospitals. This resulted in the creation of 5 regional VA teams chaired and attended by local physicians to evaluate all physician-requested medical products and devices based on clinical evidence and cost.

RESULTS – Implementation of physician-led VA teams resulted in improved hospital/physician alignment and increased compliance with system-wide standardization initiatives.

CONCLUSION(S) – With hospitals and physicians under increasing pressure to improve clinical quality and decrease the cost of healthcare, physicians will have to play a larger role in medical supply VA processes to decrease variations, eliminate waste, and optimize the value of care received by patients. Advances in electronic health record systems that allow linkage with supply chain software will facilitate direct correlation between VA and patient outcomes in the future.

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