As a physician, I’ve seen fellow clinicians and supply chain professionals line up across from each other, prepared to do battle over the same piece of land. The physicians stood their ground, armed with the mission of excellent patient outcomes with high-quality care, while supply chain took aim with cost-effectiveness, tasked to “keep the doors open.” The reality is both sides are right. The shift toward pay-for-performance and value-based purchasing over the last five years is bringing healthcare to a tipping point, and it will be unsustainable for health systems to allow this divide to continue. While many forward-thinking organizations have made great strides to bridge the gap, physician and supply-chain engagement continues to be a pain point for a number of institutions. How do we get either side to wave the white flag? Let’s discuss just a few ways.
When it comes to supply chain professionals, physicians must discard some preconceived notions. The supply chain position has risen to an executive level in many health systems, with an associated advance in knowledge, skills, and abilities. No longer do they fill the role of cost-cutters. Instead, they adopt a “patient first” philosophy as they work toward achieving physician alignment, knowing it is the key to attaining the quadruple aim of enhanced patient experience, improved population health, optimized health system performance, and improved work life for the providers.
Find Your Champion
Physician-to-physician dialogue is vital to value-based purchasing initiatives. A physician champion can go a long way in assisting supply chain with their initiatives. That champion must have the ear of both his peers and those higher up the executive chain. They tend to be visionary about the direction of the health system and are laser-focused on outcomes, and as such are receptive to the importance of unbiased clinical evidence in their decision-making process. Members of the supply chain team can further their relationships with their champions by attending service line and committee meetings to determine specifics on ways they can work together toward the common goal.
Unbiased Evidence Is Key
Physicians rely heavily on evidence when making decisions about procedures, drugs, and devices. With the volume of patient care required of them, time is often a factor when it comes to examining the research, and doctors end up often receiving their evidence from the manufacturer’s sales representatives. Supply chain can be crucial to the improvement of physician engagement in this regard. Utilizing unbiased evidence from an independent and objective third-party health technology assessment firm, supply chain professionals can present physicians with compelling information on clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness free of manufacturer partiality. Timely and consistent review of the available evidence can lead to steady improvement in clinical outcomes and reduced cost.
Hayes is the mediator that brings both sides to the table. We pride ourselves on fiercely unbiased evidence. We will never accept manufacturer sponsorship, and the depth and variety of our reports are unmatched in the business. Specifically for value-analysis teams, we offer workflow integration to expedite your reporting processes. From horizon-scanning reports on emerging technologies to standard health technology assessments (HTAs) that carry the industry-standard Hayes Rating, we offer a number of solutions that will aid your physicians and value-analysis teams in making the right decisions regarding health technology acquisitions.