An Interview with Dee Donatelli

Posted by The Evidence Blog on July 24, 2012

Dee Donatelli joined Hayes on July 2, 2012, as Sr. Vice President, Provider Services. In this interview, we learn more about Dee and her goals and objectives.

Q: Welcome to Hayes, Dee. Tell us a little bit about your background.
Dee: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve spent my entire career—and that’s more than 30 years now—working in some capacity in hospital supply chain, value analysis, or materials management. I actually began my career as a nurse in Tucson, Arizona, and it’s been an exciting ride. Throughout the years I’ve been fortunate to help clients develop the right processes to improve the quality of care delivery and subsequently patient outcomes. My passion has been to support the practice of evidence-based medicine.

Most recently, I was a Vice President for 7 years at VHA, where I was responsible for delivering VHA’s consulting services related to supply chain nonsalary cost reduction and VHA’s Clinical Quality Value Analysis.

Q: In a nutshell, what does a supply chain consultant do?
Dee: You know hospitals usually don’t have the dedicated resources, time, or expertise to evaluate the clinical evidence and translate it into an active work plan that will result in optimal patient outcomes as well as cost savings. As a consultant, I helped healthcare organizations establish evidence-based criteria to determine the clinical value of the products they used. I worked with healthcare facilities across the country to put into place standardized value-analysis processes that enabled these organizations to significantly reduce supply costs and ultimately change the way they did business.

Q: What are some of the challenges healthcare organizations face today?
Dee: Hospitals face huge challenges in their efforts to make real and significant changes to reduce healthcare spending. With the ongoing debate about the cost and quality of healthcare in the United States, I’ve witnessed an increased emphasis on clinical efficacy, safety, and cost benefit as it relates to the products that are used in the course of delivering medical services to patients. At the moment, hospitals are in the process of mobilizing their staff in preparation for value-based purchasing mandates. That means delivering healthcare services that align with evidence-based best practices. In my opinion, to do so, they’ll have to remove physician preference from the equation, or at least make clinical evidence more important than physician preference. Going forward, it’s really going to be about how we change the cost of healthcare in today’s environment.

Q: You mentioned physician preference. Tell us more.
Dee: Physician preference has been about what physicians say they want or believe they need. We need to move past PPI and focus instead on the real value we’re getting from the products and technologies we use to deliver healthcare.

Let me give you an example. Dr. X insists he can’t use product A when he performs a certain type of procedure and instead prefers product B. Well, when we analyze the outcomes associated with both products—and that includes patient outcomes as well as safety issues—we find that both products are essentially equal. The only difference is that product B costs nearly twice as much as product A. In situations like this when outcomes are equivalent, we need to use the less expensive product. That’s value-based purchasing.

Q: What can Hayes do to help hospitals meet value-based purchasing mandates?
Dee: This is an opportunity for Hayes, in an advisory capacity, to help hospitals translate the clinical evidence into action and make decisions that will improve patient care and reduce costs simultaneously. With that goal in mind, my team will be developing innovative products and services that will help hospitals use evidence in a way that benefits them financially and operationally and helps to increase patient satisfaction.

Topics: Hayes Blog

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